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FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 




FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 



BY 

FRANCES ANNE KEMBLE 




LONDON 
RICHARD BENTLEY AND SON 

iabUshers in ©rfcittarj) ta ^et Jftajtsts thz (Queen 
1889 

[All rights reserved] 



~h\ 



■A* 



TO 

MRS. RACKEMANN 

(ELIZABETH SEDGWICK) 

THIS STORY IS DEDICATED 

BY HER 

AFFECTIONATE FRIEND 

THE AUTHOR 




FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 



+xx+ 



INTRODUCTION. 



My aunt, Miss Selbourne, had just died in 
her house in the village of Greenville, leaving 
me her executor, with the rather embarrass- 
ing task of looking over her papers, letters, 
and personal mementoes of people and events 
long passed away, which had occupied a good 
part of my time. The letters written by 
various members of the large family to 
which she belonged, and who were all in 
an uncommon degree remarkable for their 
mental gifts and moral excellence, were full 

1 



2 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

of the affectionate intercourse of close rela- 
tionship, and described with pleasant vivacity 
the not ungracefully quaint and primitive, 
stiff and simple, manners and daily life of 
more than ' sixty years since.' This episto- 
lary collection was voluminous, and I carried 
it home with me to my house on the road 
between Greenville and the small county 
town of Gordonton. Having finished look- 
ing over the letters, I found a packet of 
considerable bulk, carefully tied up and 
sealed, with the words ' Far Away and 
Long Agfo : A True Story,' in my aunt's 
handwriting upon it, to which was added 
in another hand, ' To be published after my 
death.' 

Not long after Miss Selbourne's death, a 
narrative was published purporting to be an 
account of events which transpired in Green- 
ville a great many years ago. No name 
was affixed to this publication, and a rumour 
got abroad that she was the author of it. 
My aunt's novels had obtained deserved 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 3 

popularity and a wide circulation during 
her life ; her name was in itself a recom- 
mendation to the reader ; but none of the 
characteristics of her books were to be found 
in the one now apparently intended to derive 
its claim to public approbation from the idea 
that it was a work of hers. The MS. was 
not in her writing, and all her own MSS. 
were. Neither the subject nor its treatment 
was such as she would have chosen, and the 
style was entirely different from that of 
the charming books of which she was the 
acknowledged author. Her family took 
some pains to discover the author of this 
volume ; but not succeeding in doing so, 
determined, as the best method of contra- 
dicting the erroneous impression becoming 
more and more prevalent, to publish the 
manuscript found among her papers. The 
writer, whose desire for the publication of 
his work appeared to be endorsed by her, 
had evidently grounded a partly fictitious 
narrative upon real events which were still 

1—2 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 



remembered by some of the oldest Green- 
ville folk, and therefore, in spite of the title, 
must have occurred neither very far away 
nor long ago. 





CHAPTER I. 



Towards the northern boundary of the 
county of Berkshire, in the State of Massa- 
chusetts, is a lovely valley, locked in by 
mountains, crowned with forests, and watered 
by the playful windings of a clear, rapid 
stream. Few spots on earth can boast of a 
more perfect union of all the elements of 
natural beauty; there maybe scenes of grander 
sublimity, or richer and more fertile cultiva- 
tion, but not many where all the charms 
of rock and river, woody upland and sunny 
meadow, bold mountain outlines and sweet 
valley depths, meet in such harmonious and 
various combination. It is an enchanting 
region, and may well deserve to be re- 



6 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

membered by the name given to it by a 
distinguished foreigner who once passed 
through it of the ' Happy Valley.' 

But manifold changes have come over 
that secluded region since the occurrence of 
the events here commemorated. Highways 
have been opened over the mountains, and 
railroads into the valleys, and the tide of 
the outward world now rolls freely through 
these once wild and beautiful solitudes. 

At the time of which I write, the house 
of Judge Selbourne, that of Mr. Edwards 
(in which, but few years before he possessed 
it, his grandfather, the celebrated Calvinistic 
divine and theologian, Jonathan Edwards, 
had lived and died), and half a dozen sub- 
stantial and comfortable frame residences, 
each in their own meadow and garden 
grounds, were in fact the core or kernel 
of the whole village. Round this some 
humbler cottages had gathered like a group 
of timid sheep, as though drawn towards 
each other more by fear of isolation than 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 7 

any social love of proximity, where now the 
white houses with their green blinds amonof 
their graceful elms give to the traveller's 
eye one of the prettiest rural pictures in the 
whole picturesque county. 

On a little hill, clothed richly with the 
shining wild-laurel kalmia, stood the plain 
meeting-house where the inhabitants wor- 
shipped ; and on the side of a gentle rise, 
not a quarter of a mile from it, and so 
situated as to overlook the whole valley, 
stood the dwelling of its minister, the truly 
Reverend Mr. Edwards. Pursuing the 
main road that ran through the village, and 
gradually approaching the capricious wind- 
ings of the stream known as the Green 
Water, the traveller found himself out of 
sight of the clustering cottages of Green- 
ville, out of hearing of the smith's anvil, the 
carpenter's plane, the children's voices, and 
all the sounds of rural village industry and 
activity. 

Sloping apple orchards, gently climbing to 



8 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

meet the forest skirts, that the hand of 
labour had gradually curtailed, till their 
shaggy fringes clothed only the higher 
summits, rose on one side of the road. On 
the other, a narrow strip of meadow sank 
rapidly from a pathway that crossed it, to a 
plank bridge over the river, whose flashing 
waters here became a deep and powerful 
dark-green current, as they wound round the 
base of a precipitous hill. This, rising to a 
height of many hundred feet, was thickly 
clothed with forest growth of chestnut, oak, 
and beech, amid whose ranks the woodcutter's 
axe had already made many an inroad, and 
from the midst of whose deep masses the 
slow-rising blue and silver smoke here and 
there betrayed the swarthy labours of the, 
charcoal-burners. 

At the foot of this mountain, on the 
opposite side from the village, was the 
entrance to a singularly wild ravine, which 
traversed its base like a huge rocky moat, 
and was known by the name of the Ice 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 



Hole, because in the hottest days of summer 
snow and ice had been found in some of its 
least explored recesses, defying the influence 
of the hot atmosphere without, in its deep 
and dark storehouses of winter cold. 

At the foot of a sloping meadow, which 
led to the northern entrance of this defile, 
and nestled under the overhanging boughs 
of one of those beautiful elms that are the 
peculiar pride of this district, stood a solitary 
cottage, whose remoteness from the village 
seemed to indicate something in the mind of 
its inhabitant of that desire for solitude 
which springs from sorrow or misanthropy. 
More especially might this appear the case 
when the whole neighbourhood was one of 
such tranquil and retired peacefulness, and 
where the fullest tide of business, pleasure, 
and population is even now gathered into 
a focus, which to dwellers in cities, and the 
crowded haunts of men, would in itself seem 
a silence and a solitude. 

The whitewashed frame cottage stood, 



io FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

according to the fashion of selecting sites 
prevalent both then and now in New 
England, close to the road, which then, 
however, was rarely traversed by any but 
the pedestrian on his way to the distant 
village of Barlington, or the creaking ox- 
drawn cart of the men bringing down their 
loads of charcoal from the mountain-sides, 
and urging the slow progress of their beasts 
in a jargon of mixed Yankee and some 
foreign dialect, for they were almost all 
Swiss, who on the hillsides of Massachusetts 
were following the industry the knowledge 
and habit of which they had brought with 
them from their native land. 

The thriving manufacturing villages which 
now disturb the banks of the Green Water 
with their clattering wheels and sudden jets 
of black rolling smoke or white hissing 
steam had not begun the successful com- 
petition of paper, cotton, and cloth mills, 
whose long buildings and wooden outhouses 
now make glad the lovers of wealth, and 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO n 

sad the lovers of beauty. Nor, indeed, had 
the latter begun to explore, as they now do, 
the recesses of this mountain region, pry- 
ing into its rocky gorges for waterfalls, and 
climbing its hill-tops for views, and carrying 
back to the haunts of civilization reports of 
picturesque and savage beauty, by which 
each succeeding summer fresh pilgrims are 
tempted to the secret solemn shrines of 
Nature, there to worship and to wonder 
according to the measure of grace which has 
been given them. 

At the time I speak of, a slow ox-cart, 
laden with the iron ore of the mountains, 
and creaking towards the Gordonton furnace, 
or returning thence, with its freight wrought 
into rough ingots, or a load of charcoal 
escorted by its begrimed drivers, whose 
features proclaimed their foreign birthland 
even through the mask of smoke and coal 
which gave additional strangeness to them — 
these, and the occasional tramp of some 
grazier with a drove of cattle, or farmer s 



i2 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

wife or daughter mounted on a peculiarly 
precarious side-saddle, and ambling cautiously 
from one village to another, or the semi- 
annual return of a Boston pedlar with his 
various products of remote civilization, made 
up the sum of traffic then on the now 
much-frequented road between Greenville 
and Barlington. 

Sunday, indeed, converted it into a com- 
paratively populous thoroughfare, for the 
meeting-house of Greenville was the only 
one for several miles, and though that at 
Gordonton was scarcely further off, every 
step of the way was uphill, a toilsome, 
heavenward path which the worthy 
worshippers, who condemned an afternoon 
stroll in the meadows as impious, had no 
scruple in sparing themselves by means of 
every vehicle or animal, whose weekly labour 
pleaded in vain for the respite otherwise 
observed of the strictly sectarian Sabbath. 
Besides, Mr. Edwards was held in such 
affectionate respect through all the little 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 13 



villages along the river, that Sunday brought 
their inhabitants from a circuit of several 
miles to attend his ministry, which the most 
devout and intelligent among them pro- 
nounced to be good alike for exhortation and 
reproof. 

In his own daily journeys round the neigh- 
bourhood in search of the sick and sinning, 
Mr. Edwards seldom failed to stop at the 
cottage we have mentioned, where he was 
ever an honoured guest. 





CHAPTER II. 

James Morrison, the builder, owner, and 
inhabitant of this humble dwelling, was an 
Englishman, a native of Lancashire. During 
the early part of his life, and far into his 
middle age, he had lived in a small house in 
a small street in Manchester, and laboriously 
supported his aged parents by his wages as 
a principal workman in one of the huge iron 
manufactories of that capital of all Vulcan's 
earthly domains, and chief temple of his 
worship. 

Nowhere, probably, in the world does 
the hard-featured countenance of toil and 
poverty wear a more repulsive aspect 
than in the manufacturing districts of the 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 15 



wealthiest of civilized Christian countries. 
Manchester, with its gloomy, narrow laby- 
rinths of dismal alleys, whose ignoble 
dwellings would defy the very spirit of 
beauty to rescue them from their look of 
monotonous squalor, offers the very type 
of all that human habitations can exhibit 
of mean, dark, low hideousness. 

To the weather-stained thatched dwelling 
of the poorest country labourer, ivy, clematis, 
honeysuckle, roses, can give at least external 
grace and cheerfulness, and, clinging round 
it, suggest images of sweetness — shade and 
refreshment may be bestowed upon it by the 
proximity of fine trees, or the breezy, open 
space of a gorse and heather covered common 
lend to it an air of bright healthiness ; but 
who that ever looked down one of those 
black brick passages in a wealthy manu- 
facturing town, where the poorer workmen 
swarm with their families — either when the 
prevailing fogs of the English climate, mixed 
with the soot from a thousand smoky 



16 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

chimneys, fills thern with choking, chilling 
darkness, or when the dull glare of the 
summer sun penetrates to the filthy pave- 
ment, dirty brick walls, and dusty gutters — 
found anything in its aspect but labour in 
its meanest form, poverty in its most un- 
mitigated ugliness, and an existence as 
squalid and barren in its outward features as 
hard and penurious in its daily conditions ? 

In these grim dwellings of cheerless toil it 
is not wonderful that the seeds of perennial 
discontent should spring most abundantly ; 
that here the natural aspirings of hope, the 
innate desire of happiness, the inextinguish- 
able striving towards progress, should all 
thirst for change ; change at any price, at 
any rate — change so dangerous because so 
vague a desire, yet the only desire of which 
such an existence after a while remains 
capable, as the first step, of emancipation 
from that which is intolerable — change 
without calculation of consequence, the mere 
shifting of the burthen, which, without 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 17 

diminishing its weight, relieves, for a time, 
the weary way-plodder by effort applied in a 
new direction. In the midst of such influ- 
ences, James Morrison had passed the 
greater part of his life, with more than 
common intelligence, and a degree of general 
information which he had acquired by con- 
siderable reading, and the diligent and eager 
application of every spare moment of his 
limited leisure. The pressure of hardship 
upon himself, and the daily observation of 
its grinding action upon those less fortunate 
than himself, had gradually led him to the 
formation of the opinions most deprecated 
by those who always show the least readi- 
ness to remove their causes — Dissent in 
religion and democracy in politics. 

Prudent and discreet, with little desire or 
necessity for communication with others, 
Morrison had nursed these tendencies in 
silence, till they assumed the definite form 
of convictions ; and day after day bringing 
more and more strongly to his mind the fear 

2 



iS FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

that his favourite theories (however destined, 
as he firmly believed, eventually to conquer 
the world) would hardly develop themselves 
with much efficacy in England during his 
life, his desire of removing himself to a 
country where they were the acknowledged 
principles of government grew more intense, 
and his yearning after an existence of com- 
parative political freedom and social equality, 
even at the cost of entire separation from all 
his previous associations and habits, became 
the secret passion of his life. 

While every moment of his leisure was 
spent in reading works which strengthened 
the republican tendency of his ideas, every 
farthing of his wages that could be spared 
from the most closely economical living 
was carefully put aside, to accumulate and 
form the necessary fund for emigration to 
America. 

An attachment, tenacious and strong as 
all his feelings, which he had long enter- 
tained for the daughter of a Dissenting 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 19 

minister, living in obscurity and poverty 
with an aged aunt, the intimate friend of 
his mother, added to his general theories 
applications of a more strictly personal 
nature. 

To marry in England, in his position, was 
to purchase at the cost of short-lived happi- 
ness distress and grinding care for the future. 
Love, which should lighten all burthens, 
according to the laws of God and nature, 
becomes the heaviest of all burthens under 
the civilized dispensations of man. Poverty 
scares the lonely labourer away from the 
vision of sympathy and fellowship ; or if 
affection and passion plead too strongly 
against the dictates of prudence, and the 
irrevocable engagement is taken, it bows to 
the earth his already heavily-laden hands, 
and fastens upon him a corroding care, such 
as mere toil for self-preservation, however 
unremitting or ill-requited, could never know. 
There is no poverty like that which has 
added to itself the poverty of a helpless wife, 

2 — 2 



20 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

the mother of helpless and degraded chil- 
dren. 

The woman to whom James Morrison 
was attached was no longer young, nor in 
any respect very attractive ; a spirit of 
order and economy like his own, a rigid 
sense of duty, and unflinching devotion to 
it, and a tendency to exaggeration, such as 
theological or political theories are apt to 
assume in the unpractical brains of women, 
towards Morrison's own favourite specula- 
tions, were her charms in his eyes. Per- 
haps, too, the feeling entertained by his 
parents, who had been devoted followers of 
her father's ministry, and still more by her 
old aunt, that Mary Shepherd was entitled 
to a better position in life than that of a 
mere working manufacturer's wife, gave ad- 
ditional value to her regard for him. Quiet 
and reserved to a degree of shyness, she had 
never exhibited any feeling of the sort, al- 
though in her secret soul she was not quite 
devoid of a certain sense of social superiority, 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 21 



which all her equalizing speculations and 
James Morrison's steadfast attachment and 
really uncommon abilities hardly overcame. 

The aristocratic feeling which is rooted in 
the heart of the people of England, and 
which, combined with the equally deeply- 
seated democratic tendency, and the perpetual 
action of both, form the twofold influence of 
stability and progress, whence springs the 
security of the country, was potent in the 
heart of Mistress Deborah Shepherd, Mary's 
old aunt ; and, in spite of her affection for 
Morrison's mother, and her rather dry ac- 
knowledgment of James's abilities and excel- 
lent character, forbade her niece ever hoping 
for her consent to her marriage with the 
Radical artisan ; and this, combined with the 
stern dictates of prudence, compelled them 
to form that sort of indefinite engagement — 
the shapeless, colourless hope, in which the 
loves and the expectations of the poor are 
so often constrained to take refuge. Hover- 
ing over their hard lot was the dimly-seen 



22 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

star of distant aspiration, shedding upon the 
flinty path of life, during long years, the 
dew of patient and courageous devotion ; 
sometimes eclipsed by sudden calamity, scat- 
tering in a moment the result of prolonged 
industry and self-denial ; oftener wearing 
away, and fading more and more, and at 
length dying out in the cheerless atmosphere 
of protracted insuperable obstacles. 

The death of Mistress Deborah Shepherd 
having at length removed the impediment of 
an adverse authority, and, moreover, en- 
dowed her niece with a little fortune of three 
hundred pounds, she became Morrison's wife, 
and entered eagerly into all his schemes of 
future existence in the land of his dreams 
— his Atlantis — the United States. The 
increased comfort of their position, by means 
of Mrs. Morrison's small dower, enabled 
them to bear with patience the postpone- 
ment of their hope. At length, the death 
of his parents, to whom he had been an 
exemplary and devoted son, having given 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 23 

Morrison that melancholy freedom which we 
purchase with our heaviest losses, he threw 
up his situation, left his dingy narrow brick- 
house in Turner's Lane, Manchester, and with 
five hundred pounds, his wife, and a beauti- 
ful little girl of three years old, set sail for 
America. 





CHAPTER III. 



It does not enter into my purpose to follow 
in detail the fortunes of the emigrants. 
How far the realitv answered to the ex- 
pectations of Morrison in the country of his 
adoption ; how nearly the machinery of 
democratic institutions approached in their 
actual working the lofty conceptions of his 
republican theories ; how much more the 
men resembled Brutus and Cato, Hampden, 
Milton, and Sidney, than the Englishmen 
with whom he had held daily converse in 
Manchester ; and the women, Cornelia, 
Portia, Madame Roland, or Rousseau's 
6 natural ' heroines, than their wives and 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 25 

daughters — into all this it is needless to 
inquire. 

There probably existed the same disparity 
between what he had imagined and what 

he found, as it is the lot of most of us to 
find in the realization of our hopes and ex- 
pectations. 

It is certain that he never expressed the 
slightest disappointment, that he never 
uttered a regret for having left England, or 
a desire to return to it. After becoming 
naturalized, which he did at the earliest pos- 
sible period, he exercised with regularity and 
conscientiousness his privileges of citizenship ; 
and though it might seem a little incon- 
sistent, perhaps, that he invariably voted 
with the least democratical political party, 
his deliberate devotion to republican institu- 
tions, and unmitigated distaste for, and dis- 
approbation of, all others, did not appear 
by any other token to have changed or 
diminished. 

Perhaps in the desire he had experi- 



26 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

enced for what seemed to him just prin- 
ciples of government he had failed to 
remember the stamp of imperfection that 
inevitably brands all human things ; perhaps 
he had omitted to allow the large margin 
which must be left in the application of all 
theories for the weakness and wickedness of 
men s practice ; or, perhaps, in "n variably 
voting with the more conservative side in 
the perpetually recurring elections, which 
freshen the surface of American politics 
with a constant ripple of change, he was but 
following a wise instinct, which suggests 
that the counter-weight should always be 
thrown into that scale which does not con- 
tain the preponderating individual or national 
tendency ; not so much as impediment, as 
corrective : the element of opposition, in 
all things one of the great elements of health, 
that answers in the moral world to that 
which produces equipoise of powers in the 
material universe. 

Morrison, on his first arrival in America, 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 27 



gave, for some time, scope and utterance so 
long denied to that leaven of social and reli- 
gious antagonism which had been for years 
fermenting in his mind. Not only on his 
arrival in the United States had he drawn 
in, as it were, with one deep inspiration of 
unutterable relief and hope, the atmosphere 
of freedom for which he had panted, but the 
absence of all conventional distinctions of rank 
and accidents of condition more than once 
threw him among men whose greater wealth 
and different social position would in Eng- 
land for ever have separated them from him 
by the invisible barrier of caste. The strong 
original powers of his mind and his solid 
acquirements, instead of lying like the talent 
rusting in its napkin, were called out into 
demonstration by the various impulses of a 
state of society whose manifold activities, 
mental and physical, challenge in its develop- 
ment all the faculties of all who come with- 
in its influence. 

Morrison now uttered freely and elo- 



28 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

quently thoughts and convictions that had 
been hitherto, like some potent corrosive 
chemical elements, eating themselves into 
his mind. Instantly marked by some of 
those dexterous political ' manipulators/ who 
are generated by swarms in the genial atmo- 
sphere of republican party politics, he was 
even drawn forward to make some public 
professions of his creed of government upon 
more than one popular occasion; several well- 
written and powerful articles from his pen 
found their way into a paper, then published 
by one of England's Radical reformers ; and 
thus, for awhile, all that had formed the 
concealed and concentrated innermost &oul of 
his life was suddenly thrown into outward 
expression, which was vehement, in spite df 
his moderate and self-controlled nature, 
simply as the result of all its previous re- 
pression and compression. 

All this was during the first year and a half 
of his residence in America ; to the subsequent 
subsiding of this effervescence into something 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 29 



more like his former life, the privacy of his 
perfectly quiet and contented citizen career 
bore satisfactory evidence. It was, how- 
ever, during this first explosion, so to speak, 
of mental activity and excitement upon sub- 
jects in his estimation most vital, that his 
youngest child was born ; and how far the 
nervous exaltation and irritability of her 
temperament was derived from these causes, I 
leave to theorists in such matters to decide. 
Influences tending most materially to 
strengthen these unquiet elements in her 
nature were derived, however, from her 
mother, whose organization, unlike the 
equable and temperately robust disposition 
of her husband, was prone to nervous ex- 
citability, and in whom religious dissent and 
social discontent were more or less likely to 
assume a morbid character of gloom or ex- 
aggeration under unfavourable circumstances. 
Mrs. Morrisons political theories were 
probably, like those of most women, the 
mere reflex of her husband's ; and like the 



3 o FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

seed spoken of in Scripture, having no depth 
of root, could not fail to wither under the 
scorching sun of severe experience. When, 
in the land of universal liberty and equal 
rights, she found that the relations of family 
and domestic life, as well as the public func- 
tions of the Government, were all affected 
by the same principles ; and that a free 
household, as well as a free people, could 
only be controlled (if controlled at all) with 
the utmost patience, forbearance, and con- 
scientious respect for the individual rights of 
its individual members, her practice failed 
where her theory had flourished ; and old 
habits and associations, potent in women 
(especially in matters of home discipline far- 
more than in men, whose avocations generally 
free them from the tyranny of petty house- 
hold details), rendered her transplantation, 
at the age of thirty-seven, a difficult moral 
experiment. 

Her aunt's English home, with its very 
humble establishment of a maid-of-all-work, 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 31 



was a heaven of order, regularity, cleanli- 
ness, and economy compared with her first 
experiments in American housekeeping. 
Mrs. Morrison found it impossible to obtain, 
even at greatly higher wages, the service of 
any ' help ' (as they satirically called them- 
selves) that she considered comparable in 
competency to her poor little English 
drudge ; and whereas the latter had always 
observed the deferential demeanour towards 
her ' missus/ reckoned by British mistresses 
as one of the duties of her class, the helpful 
or hindranceful damsel who condescended, 
for a considerable consideration, to endure 
the condition of servant to Mrs. Morri- 
son, asserted her republican equality in a 
variety of ways, equally amazing and dis- 
tasteful to the lower middle-class English- 
woman, whose sense of propriety and per- 
sonal pride were alike disturbed by the free 
and easy manners of her American assistants. 
It was equally impossible to teach them how 
to turn down a bed properly, or to under- 



32 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

stand why one way of turning down a bed 
was not just as proper as another. 



Note. — In a far more advanced stage of American 
civilization than that treated of in this story, the house- 
hold tribulations of persons much better able to purchase 
domestic service than Mrs. Morrison would have appeared 
incredible to any Englishwoman. A lady was compelled 
to discharge her cook for gross misconduct, but the 
woman refused to leave the house, and it was necessary 
to invoke the assistance of the sheriff's officer to effect 
her ejection, the last seen of her by her helpless employer 
being her resolute taking possession of a sofa in the hall, 
on the arm of which sofa the legal functionary was 
seated, with his arm round the waist of the recalcitrant 
female, who, whether by the force of moral suasion, or 
literally vi et armis, was eventually extracted from the 
house. A few days after she was engaged at very high 
wages by a lady in the same neighbourhood, who, being 
asked if she did not know under what disgraceful circum- 
stances the woman had been dismissed from her previous 
situation, replied, ' Oh yes, indeed ; she knew well 
enough ; but had been her own cook and kitchenmaid 
for upwards of eight weeks, and was tired of it.' 




CHAPTER IV. 



In Morrison s various attempts to find a 
suitable residence in several parts of the 
northern seaboard States, his wife had gone 
through a series of experiments more terrible 
to that creature of systematic comfort, order, 
and subordination, an Englishwoman of her 
class, than it would be at the present day. 
After two years of impotent struggling 
with unconquerable obstacles, and ineffectual 
resistance to uncontrollable circumstances, a 
period of alternate surprise, irritation, indig- 
nation, and final disgust, in which all the 
more biting and acrid qualities of her own 
disposition w^ere kept in morbid activity, 



34 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

Mrs. Morrison entered, with comparative 
satisfaction, into her husband's plan of 
building himself a cottage near the village 
of Greenville, the last and most congenial 
neighbourhood he had tried ; and when they 
took possession of their home he had nearly 
worked off the first effervescence of his long- 
cherished opinions, and brushed, by contact 
with facts, the imaginary bloom from his 
theories, retaining with a sound judgment 
and cool temper the firm conviction of their 
main truth and justice. 

In the meantime his wife had lost all 
sympathy with the generous principles she 
had imagined she held of Liberal govern- 
ment and the ' rights of the people ;' and 
under the pressure of intolerable personal 
inconvenience, against which she struggled 
with unceasing ineffectual resistance and 
resentment, she had become inwardly a 
convert to despotism in national as well as 
family government ; while her religious con- 
victions assumed gradually a character of 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 35 

stern severity, more apt to reprobate than 
conciliate those from whom she differed. 

Morrison hardly noticed the change in 
his wife, and attributed it, when he did, to 
the irritating difficulties attendant upon 
their frequent change of homes, since their 
one great change of country, and looked no 
deeper for dispositions upon which unfavour- 
able circumstances had merely acted by 
drawing out, not creating, certain inherent 
qualities of her nature, as the action of fire 
does not write, but only shows, the invisible 
characters traced with certain chemical pre- 
parations. 

He had found, with comparative ease, 
employment in some ironworks in the neigh- 
bourhood of his home. The work he under- 
took was welcome to him, as connected with 
the great Manchester establishment to which 
he had belonged ; and his special knowledge 
of the details of that peculiar industry, and 
general superior intelligence, soon procured 
him a position which commanded a good 

3—2 



36 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

salary, and more than contented his moderate 
desires and provided for the necessities of 
his family. 

I have spoken of the child who was born 
to him after his arrival in America — a girl, 
like the other, but in every respect so un- 
like, that, except in the classification of a 
naturalist, they could hardly be held to be 
creatures of the same species. 

Of the mystery of those strange dissimi- 
larities between children of the same blood 
and nurture, and whose nature exhibits 
radical and never-effaced difference, it is not 
my province to speak. In what accidents 
of various physical or mental conditions, at 
different periods of their parents' lives, physio- 
logists may see the causes of this pheno- 
menon ; into what deeper question of innate 
spiritual diversity psychologists, zealous for 
original intellectual qualities, or divines of 
Calvinistic tendency, more zealous for dogmas 
of Election and special Grace, may resolve 
it, the fact is too evident and too frequent 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 37 



to escape the notice of the most superficial 
observer of human nature, though its reasons 
have hitherto been too subtle to be detected 
by the most profound. 

Of this fact the two girls of James 
Morrison furnished a remarkable instance. 
Susan, born three years before the emigra- 
tion of her parents, seemed from her earliest 
childhood the type of that still, reserved life 
of concentrated thought and feeling which 
both of them had led under the pressure of 
adverse circumstances. To these quiet ele- 
ments she added a gentleness of temper and 
demeanour, and an inherent quality of sunny 
cheerfulness — apparently her individual con- 
tribution to the serious character she in- 
herited from her parents. Without this 
element of change, which produces from the 
combination of two natures a third — in some 
kind or degree differing from both — indi- 
viduality and personal responsibility would 
be impossible ; inheritance of qualities would 
be only their absolute reproduction and the 



3 8 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

infinite variety of special character lost in a 
universal mass of mere human resemblance 
resulting from transmission. 

This habitual quietness of deportment and 
serenity of humour exempted little Susan's 
childhood from the difficulties attendant upon 
the development of the rational responsible 
human nature, the careless or ill-advised 
direction of which prolonged child-labour (of 
which the pains and perils of the mother's 
birth-throes are but a faint type) sends the 
child, at the end of this spiritual gestation, 
too often a maimed, dwarfed, crippled, or 
otherwise deformed, mental and moral crea- 
ture into the after-life of adult years. 

The sober and depressing influences which 
had surrounded Morrison's eldest child in 
her earliest existence, the gray atmosphere 
in which she was, as it were, steeped, acted 
upon the physical, and thence — according 
to the mysterious decrees of Nature — the 
mental conformation of the little maiden, 
whose sunny cheerfulness was certainly 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 39 

derived from neither her parents nor their 
circumstances, but which contrasted curiously 
with the vehement, not to say violent, 
demonstrations of her younger sister Mary. 

The difference of disposition of the tw^o 
children is, perhaps, best described by one 
or two small incidents of their small lives. 

Susan, unable to speak quite plain the word 
' tulip,' was heard apostrophising a splendid 
specimen of the Eastern flower with a bow 
and bend, representing a curtsy, and the 
words, ' Tufel, I delight in thee ;' which 
homage she repeated with smiling satis- 
faction to the roses and other flowers she 
found in the small cultivated plot adjoining 
the cottage. 

On another occasion, her father finding 
her sitting on the doorstep singing — which 
she not seldom did — a hymn tune caught 
from her mother's household psalmody (from 
which probably her address to the flowers 
was also borrowed — ' Sion, I delight in 
thee '), and the very infrequent tears in her 



4 o FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

eyes attracting his attention, he asked the 
child what she was crying for ; to which she 
replied, ' I am not crying, father ; somebody 
is crying with my eyes ' — an answer which 
certainly showed how very little her crying 
was related to sorrow. 

On the other hand, Mary's sole curtsying 
homage was paid with a countenance of 
stern gravity in a series of silent inclinations 
to the door of a cupboard, whence her father 
had extracted occasional biscuits for her, 
upon condition of her curtsying for them. 
But twice, her mother thinking it necessary 
to restrain her incurable passion for solitary 
rambling in the fields and woods, she had 
testified her detestation of the discipline : 
once, by rushing headforemost — butting, in 
fact — at a wall, whence she fell back stunned 
with the force of the blow she had given ; 
and another time by tearing out whole 
handfuls of her hair, with which the floor was 
strewn, when her mother entered the room, 
and exclaiming with dismay at the sight, 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 41 

received for reply to her remonstrance, i It 
don't hurt/ accompanied with the tearing 
out of two more handfuls from her dis- 
hevelled mane. 





CHAPTEE V. 



The little girls went, as a matter of course, 
to the village school, and had their likes and 
dislikes, friendships and feuds, and loves and 
hates ; but they had between them both one 
only constant companion, devoted adherent, 
fellow-learner, and fellow-playmate — a boy 
named William Norris, the grandson of the 
old minister, Mr. Edwards, who, with his 
widowed mother, made up the family of the 
good clergyman, whose affection for his 
daughter and her boy showed itself in every 
indulgence that his small means permitted, 
and an early endeavour to instil into the lad 
the rudiments of his own not altogether 
limited literary cultivation. 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 43 

William Norris, three years older than 
Susan Morrison, was all but inseparable 
from her and her sister; he was a handsome 

lad, with a delicate iace and slender figure, 
and a countenance indicative of unusual re- 
finement and sensibility, which expression, 
exhibiting itself even in early boyhood, 
seemed rather ominous of physical, if not 
any other, weakness, which, unless outgrown, 
was likely to overgrow the organization so 
prematurely marked with it. 

Of his boyhood one anecdote was pre- 
served with some pride by his grandfather, 
who, accompanied by him, was going over 
his small and not very fertile mountain farm 
with an agriculturist fresh from the deep 
soil and heavy crops of the West. The 
latter, looking with contemptuous pity over 
the bit of Massachusetts meadow, where the 
scanty vegetation showed the bare rock 
bones through the thin surface, struck his 
foot upon a hard slab of stone, saying, 
1 Now look here. Do you call this any sort 



44 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

of a soil whatever ? What could you plant 
or raise on this rock V Mr. Edwards shook 
his head in silence, as if at a loss to suggest 
an excuse for his hard and poor piece of cul- 
tivated land, when the lad, his grandson, 
said with some fire, ' Well, at any rate, I 
guess you could plant a school and raise 
men on it,' which reply his grandfather 
referred to with much approbation ever 
after. # 

Mr. Edwards, who had a great respect 
for Morrison, offered to teach the manu- 
facturer's little girls whatever small humani- 
ties he was instilling into his boy's mind 
and memory, and so Susan and Mary became 
companions in William's lessons, as well as 
his recreations — Susan, steadily and con- 
scientiously ; Mary, only fitfully and capri- 
ciously in the first, and hardly in the second, 
her principal enjoyment being long, rambling, 
solitary expeditions into the woods and val- 

* This is a true anecdote of Massachusetts farmer's 
son. 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 45 



leys round Greenville, too distant for Susan 
to accompany her, and almost always re- 
quiring a prolonged search, on the part of 
William, to find and bring her back. 

The propensity for liberty and solitude 
thus shown by her child at first alarmed her 
mother, who not unnaturally apprehended 
some untoward accident from these lonely 
wanderings. When, however, Mrs. Mor- 
rison became aware that Mary incurred 
little, if no actual, danger in these excursions, 
by which her health, strength, and powers 
of self-help were undoubtedly benefited, the 
still recurring acts of disobedience exasperated 
and incensed her mother, whose theory of 
authority was, as I have said, daily becoming 
more stringent, and between whom and her 
singular child an ominous element of antago- 
nism was beginning to make itself felt by both 
of them, while yet unperceived by anyone else. 
Morrison, whose daily work necessarily 
carried him away from home, saw but little 
of this curious struggle, and when he did 



46 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

detect any of it, was apt to take the child's 
part against the mother, whose endeavour 
to maintain her rightful supremacy seemed 
to him occasionally unnecessarily harsh, as it 
undoubtedly was, though the mother felt a 
root of resistance in the child's nature of a 
formidable fibre, from which she instinctively 
foreboded (perhaps exaggerated) evil results. 
One day — when after repeated infractions 
of her mother's injunctions not to leave the 
cottage, the latter, driven beyond all patience 
by Mary's obstinate disobedience, and un- 
able, from stress of housework, to keep any 
watch over her movements, resorted to the 
injudicious expedient of tying her trouble- 
some prisoner fast to a bedpost — Morrison, 
returning unexpectedly to the house, found 
the little girl, then hardly more than six 
years old, with a face purple with suppressed 
rage and crying, and wrists and arms red 
and swollen with ineffectual struggles to set 
herself free. A good deal shocked at this 
spectacle, he unfastened the child, who then, 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO' 47 

in a paroxysm of furious cries, sobs, and 
tears, flung herself into his arms, while her 
mother, without any external demonstration 
of an internal passion of grief and anger, 
quite as violent, merely said : ' That child is 
good for nothing, and will grow up good for 
nothing • and your encouraging her in her 
wild, wilful, wicked disobedience is evil 
teaching for the present and the future, 
James.' 

Morrison, like a wise man, made no 
answer, but put the child from him into a 
corner of the room, where she sat sobbing 
silently as long as he remained there. 

Having taken from his desk a paper he 
had come for, and left the house, Mary 
instantly curbed all tearful demonstration, 
and remained scowling at her mother, who 
was coming and going upon her various 
household errands. To assist her process of 
self-control by some muscular effort, she had 
seized upon the border of a table-cover near 
her, and was wringing and wrenching it with 



48 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

considerable injury to the texture. Her 
mother having twice taken it from her 
hands and said, ' Let that alone/ and an- 
swered to the child's defiant ' Why must I V 
with a stern ' Because I bid you, and be- 
cause it is mine/ the little girl — her counte- 
nance assuming in its sternness a striking 
resemblance to her mother's — replied in a 
tone of deliberate determination, ' Yes. 
The tablecloth is yours, and the table is 
yours, and everything in the room is yours, 
except me, and I'm my own.' After which 
undeniable assertion of her personal property, 
the small individual soul went and seated 
herself on the doorstep and looked towards 
the woods and hills, for which she felt more 
than her usual yearning. 





CHAPTER VI. 



I have spoken of Morrison's employment as 
a sort of working overseer in the ironworks 
at Greenville Furnace. This partly authori- 
tative and partly companionable position in 
the establishment was not without diffi- 
culties, and tested successfully enough the 
discretion and equanimity of his disposition, 
and his sound judgment and good temper. 
The workmen at the furnace were all native 
New England men, Yankees with the single 
exception of one Irishman, employed by the 
special favour of one of the proprietors of 
the works, whose little child he had saved 
from drowning at some risk of his own 
life. 



5 o FAR A WAY AND LONG AGO 

The son of Erin was almost the only 
troublesome item in the concern to Mor- 
rison. The Americans were hard-working, 
good-natured, easy-going, and tolerably 
reasonable and intelligent men, with whom 
he got on without any serious difficulty. 
The Irishman was a general favourite with 
all of them, to whom his wit, his humour, 
his irregular fancies and whimsical fun, were 
an incessant source of diversion — their own 
national want of animal spirits, and con- 
sequent rather unhilarious habit of mind, 
making them especially prone to like and 
admire Pat's vagaries ; while these his 
national and natural characteristics were no 
recommendation to the precise and prosaic 
Englishman, to whom the impulsive warmth 
and demonstrative exuberance of the Irish 
nature were as little congenial as its lively 
wit and poetical imagination ; while the 
Americans, who were a modified compound 
of both, had infinitely more comprehension 
of, and sympathy with, the quick-witted 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 51 

brains and easily excited feelings of the one 
than with the sober, sedate, cool tempera- 
ment of the other foreigner, brought by ac- 
cidental circumstances into their fellowship. 

At the close of a hot sultry day in July, 
when the work had stopped at the forge, 
and Morrison was slowly climbing the hill 
towards his cottage, he was overtaken by 
Judge Selbourne, who was walking his horse 
in the same direction, and who, liking the 
Englishman's character and conversation, 
took every opportunity of showing that he 
did so. He brought his horse to Morrison's 
side, and accosted him with a friendly ' Good- 
afternoon,' going on with : 

' Why, Morrison, what's this I hear — 
you've been having trouble dowm at the 
works with the men ?' 

' Oh no, sir ! not the men : a man — that 
Irishman ; the rest are not as reasonable as 
might be wished, perhaps, but the trouble 
won't be much.' 

' It's the old feud, I suppose, which you 

4 — 2 



52 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

have done us the good turn to bring over 
here amongst us ; English against Irish, 
Great Britain and Ould Ireland.' 

6 Yes, I suppose it is the old feud between 
order and disorder, law and lawlessness, and 
honest labour and reckless idleness.' 

' Simmons, who certainly is one of your 
best men, tells me you have discharged the 
fellow, and all the rest are quite opposed to 
his discharge.' 

' I dare say they are ; indeed, they have 
all said as much ; but, you see, they are 
Americans, and I am not.' 

' Very well, but they are not Irishmen 
any more than you, my good fellow ; and 
yet, you see, they do sympathize ' 

' With that lazy, good-for-nothing rascal,' 
interrupted Morrison. 

' Yes ; but not because he is lazy and 
good for nothing, but because he has a wife 
and six children, and was hurt in his fall 
from the dam, and will not be able to work 
for some weeks.' 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 53 

6 I dare say not ; but that was his own 
fault, and is no affair of mine ; my duty was 
to discharge him, and I have done it.' 

1 He wouldn't be likely to repeat his ex- 
periment of smoking in the buildings after 
this job, I think.' 

' Perhaps not ; but that is not my busi- 
ness. The buildings were entrusted to me, 
and I have done my duty in protecting 
them by discharging him.' 

1 Couldn't you have overlooked the matter 
this once ?' 

1 No, not consistently with my duty ; 
there are the printed rules and regulations 
which he was bound to obey, and I am 
bound to see that they are obeyed.' 

6 You may depend upon it, Mr. Curtis, 
your proprietor, will not consent to the 
fellow's being turned off, because of his 
having saved little Bob Curtis from drown- 
ing. I shouldn't wonder if he persuaded his 
partners to discharge you.' 

' I should not at all wonder either,' said 



54 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

Morrison ; ' but, you see, it was my duty to 
discharge Flaherty under the circumstances, 
and I have done, and mean to do, my 
duty.' 

6 Confound your English hide -bound, 
idolatrous notion of duty, which neither 
acknowledges the claims of others in mercy, 
nor your own interest in expediency. After 
all, I am a lawyer and a judge, Morrison, 
and I could no more carry out the law, as 
you are doing, in despite of all human con- 
siderations of compassion and prudence ' 

' No, sir,' interrupted Morrison, laughing 
with quite unconscious sarcasm ; ' but that's 
because you're an American, not because you 
are either a lawyer or a judge. That Irish 
fellow must leave the works if I'm to stay 
there.' 

1 Very well,' said Mr. Selbourne. ' And 
now do explain to me how the accident at 
the dam happened— of course you neither 
struck nor pushed Flaherty ?' 

' Certainly not ; but, as we were both cross- 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 55 

ing the plank above the fall, he made at me 
with an evident intention of striking me, 
and as he had an iron rod in his hand, I 
raised my arm to protect my head, and at 
that moment he overbalanced himself and 
fell into the water below the dam. Of course 
he scrambled and was pulled out directly, 
but not without striking his arm pretty 
severely ; which, in my opinion, serves him 
quite right, and may help, with his cold- 
water ducking, to bring him to his senses, if 
he has any — though I doubt if he has any- 
thing that can be called sense.' 

' Turn in here,' said Judge Selbourne. 
1 1 always do when I come up this way.' 

He turned his horse as he spoke into a 
turf road, and in less than a quarter of a 
mile stopped at the edge of a beautiful 
clump of noble fir-trees, whose rich red 
trunks and dark blue-green boughs rose 
from and overshadowed a small hillock, 
where great detached and variously shaped 
masses of moss and lichen-covered rock 



56 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

formed natural seats and benches (not unlike 
the ruinous remains of some ancient amphi- 
theatre), whence to enjoy the beautiful scene 
which it immediately overlooked. 

A small depression in the bosom of the 
hills held at its bottom a shallow sheet of 
clear water, the sole indication of a tra- 
ditional lake which had once filled the 
valley. Round this the first steps of the 
mountains rose gradually, clothed with a 
beautiful variety of forest trees, whose 
powerful roots grew below, and over, and 
round masses of rock, and sheltered a world 
of exquisite mosses, grasses, ferns, and wild- 
flowers. Immediately below the fir-wood, 
where Judge Selbourne had stopped his 
horse, a narrow regularly-shaped trench in 
the earth, the sides of which, of a deep 
orange colour, and the bottom, containing a 
pool of dark-green water, bore witness to 
some long-abandoned attempt at mining 
which had begun here and proved unsuccess- 
ful — below this scar in its surface, the 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 57 

smooth bosom of the hill sloped gently 
down to the valley, and in the midst of its 
turfy swell, halfway to the bottom, a splendid 
and beautiful thicket, at least three acres 
in extent, of the kalmia (popularly called 
wild-laurel) displayed its exquisite profusion 
of rosy blossoms and brilliantly-varnished 
leaves. The bushes were so closely and 
thickly intertwined that it would have been 
all but impossible to penetrate them in any 
direction, even if the very great likelihood 
of their proving the covert for venomous 
snakes would not have deterred from the 
experiment. But the aspect of this expanse 
of lovely flowers and foliage drew frequent 
boy and girl visitors from the village to rob 
the outer circle of its dark-green shining 
leaves and blossoms of every shade of rose 
colour, from the pale, all but white, delicate 
tint of the full smooth opened petals, to the 
deep crinkled crimson of the buds. From 
the wood that clothed the hillside opposite 
this wonderful flower-show, the liquid voice 



58 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

and flashing sparkle of a charming waterfall 
gave life to the sweet silence of the scene. 

The two men stood a moment without 
speaking. 

6 I never pass this place without turning 
in to look at it/ said Judge Selbourne ; ' it is 
so beautiful !' 

' If you, who have known it all your life, 
find it so, you can guess how it struck me 
when first I set eyes on it/ answered the 
Englishman. 

' Yes, you have nothing like that at home, 
as you still call England/ said the Judge. 
And then, after a pause, he added : ' Mor- 
rison, what besides this growth of wild-laurel, 
which you have not, would be the most 
striking and important difference between 
this scene and the same extent of land in the 
old country V 

Morrison instantly replied : * That every 

foot of it would be the property of one man.' 

' That's bad!' said the Judge. ' That's bad!' 

6 Yes, that's bad ! and I often think, when 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 59 



I look at it, how many thousands of pounds 
the Earl of Willmore would give to be able 
to put that hillside, just as it looks now, into 
his park near Manchester !' 

' Well, it would not do him much good if 
he could, for it's an incorrigible savage, and 
won't be tamed — even here, where I have 
transplanted it repeatedly from the hillside 
close to my garden, a distance of only a few 
feet ; and it won't grow in the garden, and it 
will outside of it.' 

' I know,' answered Morrison ; ' your rho- 
dodendrons and azaleas thrive and improve 
with us, and come from your mountains into 
our shrubberies only to grow more beautiful, 
but this kalmia won't bear transplanting. I 
suppose some things are born wild, and 
always remain so.' As he uttered the words, 
a slight girlish figure was seen climbing to- 
wards them round the edge of the wild-laurels, 
and he added : ' And this is one of them.' 

' Those children of yours are growing into 
fine girls, Morrison.' 



6o FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

6 Yes, they are comely lasses enough/ said 
the father, with something of paternal pride 
in the modest encomium. ' My America 
and England, as I call them — my Mary and 
Susan.' 

6 I like your England best/ said Mr. 
Selbourne. 

' Ah ! that's because you are an American.' 

' Perhaps it is because I am a judge/ 
said the latter, turning his horse's head back 
to the main road, with a friendly farewell 
gesture to Morrison, who remained waiting 
to be rejoined by his daughter ; than whom 
no more striking and beautiful type of his 
adopted country could have appeared in the 
midst of its characteristic scenery. 

Her slender figure swayed with careless 
grace as she slowly climbed the upland, her 
magnificent hair crowned with a garland of 
the kalmia leaves and blossoms, of which a 
wreath adorned her hat, which she carried in 
her hand, while a large bunch of them was 
in her girdle, and another in the hand with- 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 61 

out the hat ; while her dress, a pale, delicate 
pink cotton fabric, harmonizing with the 
flowers, made her look almost like part of 
the wild shrubbery suddenly endowed with 
motion, or realized some ancient classical 
] egend of a nymph in process of transforma- 
tion into some lovely blossoming plant. 

With very deliberate steps and slightly 
labouring respiration she gained the place 
where her father stood watching her ap- 
proach ; and giving him the bunch of flowers 
she carried, and putting her hand into the 
outstretched hand with which he received 
her, they turned without a word to their 
home. 

There was an infinite depth of silent 
sympathy growing up between those two 
souls, different as all their outward de- 
monstrations were. 




CHAPTEK VII. 



Judge Selbourne, pursuing his road, stopped 
his horse at the top of a small hill, whence 
he looked down on a picture of Irish America, 
at which he shrugged and smiled, saying to 
himself : ' Yes, this is the beginning ; in 
three generations the difference is very 
great ; but though they do improve, they 
don't alter : I suppose none of us do.' 

At the bottom of the hill on the right- 
hand of the road, and standing a little back 
from it, between a potato-patch and a small 
cornfield — the fence round which was, more 
or less, fallen in and out of what it pretended 
to enclose — stood a rough plank hut or 
cottage, the boards of which were innocent 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 63 



of either plaster, whitewash, or paint. On 
each side of the door, which stood open, 
showing an interior into which another door 
opposite the first stood open also, was a 
window — in the right sash a missing pane 
was supplied by a tattered paper ; in the 
left two vacant panes were stuffed, the one 
with the seat of a pair of corduroy breeches, 
that looked as if somebody was sitting in it, 
the other with a pair of dirty stockings and 
a dirty flannel petticoat. A path, trodden 
hard by use, led from the road to the door 
of this characteristic abode, on one side of 
which rose the bad eminence of a slovenly 
dung-heap ; on the other sank the stagnant, 
stinking surface of a filthy pool, principally 
fed by the drainings of the former as they 
meandered across the path to the entrance. 
A dishevelled red-haired woman was clean- 
ing (or dirtying — it was difficult to say 
which) a much bruised and battered tin 
pail ; while a procession of a most pecu- 
liar sort every now and then interrupted 



6 4 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

her, and distracted her attention from her 
labours. 

A pig, evidently in a state of extreme ex- 
citement, came cantering over the dung-heap 
and through the pool, scattering their con- 
tents in every direction, followed by a feebly 
fluttering running and jumping hen, who 
speedily took the same road, pursued in 
her turn by a, flame-haired four-year-old 
female ruffian, who, in one much too short 
and much too narrow garment, chased the 
flying animals with a long willow wand, 
tipped with a bunch of flopping foliage. The 
whole procession came helter-skelter from 
behind the house, and made for the back of 
it again at the opposite corner ; the pig and 
poultry taking the direct way over and 
through all impediments, while the infant 
huntress, compelled by her mother s shrill 
outcries to circumvent them, and thus losing 
ground in the pursuit, made up for this 
disadvantage by vociferating shouts of ' Stop, 
stop, you robber ! you rogue ! you rascal ! you 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 65 

thief !' in the midst of which she vanished 
behind the house, to return again in her wild 
chase, preceded by the more and more 
terrified and bewildered objects of her rage, 
who, in their fury and their fear, neverthe- 
less, never departed from the line they 
had adopted, or endeavoured to escape in 
any other direction. 

Judge Selbourne, laughing loudly at this 
grotesque spectacle, walked his horse down 
to the path, which he reached just as the 
pig, the hen and the child arrived in their 
mad career, causing the horse no little 
nervous alarm, and his rider some trouble in 
quieting him. 

The animals escaped. The child, seized 
by its mother, received a resounding thump 
in the small of its back (if it had a small), 
to which it responded by a sort of paviour's 
grunt, while she apostrophized it with : 
' Come out of the fate of the horse's legs ! 
and be done throwing his honour off his 
back, will ye ! ye disturbing crathur, that 

5 



66 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

ye are ! with your hair looking as if the cat 
had kittened in it !' 

Judge Selbourne looked from the ' lovely 
child to the lovelier mother/ whose carroty 
locks appeared quite as if the hairdresser of 
both had been the same. 

' I hear Pat has hurt his arm, Mrs. 
Q'Flaherty,' said he, ' and I have come to see 
him. I'll just tie my horse on the opposite 
side of the road ; he'll stand quietly enough 
there.' 

6 It's thankful to ye, sir, that I am, and 
Pat'll be for your kindness, and the child 
won't go nigh the horse as long as it has 
the pig and the poultry to look after.' 

6 Where are all the others ?' rather appre- 
hensively inquired the Judge. 

6 Sure they're all away to the woods for 
berries, and I've got the babby here keeping 
of me company in his cradle, and Ailsie 
keeping them onasy bastes quiet, as your 
honour sees, and me a claning and a talking 
to Pat and singing to the babby all in one/ 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 67 

A very cordial greeting took place be- 
tween O'Flaherty and his visitor, to whom 
he presented the solitary limping-chair, the 
straw bottom of which was as dishevelled 
as the female heads of the establishment, 
while he seated himself on the edge of the 
bed ; he was rather pale, and his arm was 
in a sling 1 . 

o 

6 You have seen Dr. Moore, Pat, I 
know. What does he say to you ? No 
bones broken, eh V 

' Ah, none at all at all, sur, only a bad 
thump on my raight arrm, and all over me 
confusions, he says — and confused it is I 
was, and am.' 

' Well, a little time will set all that 
right. 5 

' Oh, to be sure, to be sure.' 

' But now, do tell me, will you ? how it 
all happened. I have heard Morrisons 
account of the scuffle, and I should like to 
hear yours.' 

' Of course you would, sir, as it's only out 

5—2 



68 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

of all the lies on both sides that one ever 
gets at the truth/ 

' Certainly. Well, did you strike or push 
him ?' 

6 Is it did I which ? Och, nather of both. 
I was coming along the plank, and he was 
going the same way ' 

* No, no, not the same way, since you met.' 

* It's true that ye say, Judge ; the very 
reverse it were, and I had hould of a little 
bit of iron, maning to give him a small tap 
with it ; and he raised his arrm suddint, as I 
raised mine, and in coorse he made my fut 
slip* and so I fell into the wather.' 

' But did he push you ?' 

6 'Deed, no, sur, but I fell in becase of 'im, 
just as if he had pushed me.' 

' I see. But now, why the mischief did 
you smoke in the wooden building, when 
the rules and regulations are there, and have 
been always, against it ?' 

'Och, thim rules and regulations ! I 
thought they were set up to be broken.' 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 69 

' Nonsense, Pat ! you thought no such 
thing.' 

' And bedad thin, if they hadn't been set 
up, how could they ever have been broken ?' 

' Ah, to be sure ; well, you won't be able 
to work yet awhile, and when you are, 
Morrison won't have you back there.' 

' Indade, and I shan't demane meself to 
go where he stays, as if I had insulted him 
instead of him insulting me, by turning of 
me off.' 

1 I don't think there was any insult on 
either side.' 

' Maybe not, though when I was work- 
ing at the street-making, down yonder at 
Brooklyn opposite New York, didn't I insult 
the Mayor if I plased ?' 

6 Nothing could be better, if you and he 
liked it, Pat.' 

6 Ah, to be soore not ! and we both of us 
did like it, and I always voted for him, and 
he was a raal American gentleman, and 
that's the differ bechuxt him and that 



7o FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

fellow with the tyrancy British blood in 
him/ 

' The men at the furnace have made a 
subscription for you as long as you can't 
work, and Morrison has headed it very 
handsomely/ 

' Divil a bit of his money, thin, will I be 
after resaving, and I'll be thankful to ye, 
sur, to make that known ; the wife and the 
childer should starve besides meself, before 
ating the bread of his dirty dollars.' 

6 Well, you'll soon have a lot of your own 
people up here, for this new railroad they 
talk of running by the riverside, I'm sorry 
to say.' 

' And what for will your honour be 
sorry V 

1 Because it spoils our beautiful green 
water and its meadows, and brings a whole 
pack of you Irish fellows about with your 
untidy cabins, and your dirt, and noise, and 
quarrelling, and drinking, and fighting, and 
general disturbance.' 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 71 

' Och, and ye don't like that ! — and what 
for don't ye emigrate, thin ?' 

' I am thinking: of doing" so,' answered the 
Judge. 

' And where would yer honour mane 
to go ?' 

' Oh, to Ireland, of course,' replied Mr. 
Selbourne, with the sweet but sub-satirical 
smile that not unfrequently dawned on his 
fine face. 

' Long life to yer honour for thim words, 
sure ! and where could ye go better thin to 
Ould Ireland, and wouldn't the O'Flahertys 
be proud to resave ye, and give ye welcome V 

At this point of Patrick's prospective 
Irish hospitality, an uproar of so obstreperous 
a nature broke the thread of his enthusiasm 
that he remained with his mouth wide open 
and his head turned to the door, through 
which now scampered the pig, with his tail 
so tightly curled up that it seemed to lift his 
legs from the ground, as, uttering a com- 
bination of deep grunts and shrill squeals, 



72 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

and all but lying on his side in his mad 
career, he clattered in at one and out at 
the other door, followed by the wretched 
hen, who, with outstretched throat, flew 
and ran with fluttering wings and straggling 
legs, squawking in her wild escape from the 
flame-headed, furious Ailsie, who, without 
her wand of office, now pursued the creatures 
at the top of the speed of her stumpy legs. 
These, however, suddenly failing, she fell flat 
on her stomach in the middle of the floor. 
The rebound between the two hard surfaces 
set her on her feet again, not, however, with- 
out a strident rip and rend of her single 
garment, which, parting from head to heel 
behind her, threw the superfluous drapery 
forward, which impediment to her course she 
clutched in both her hands ; and thus, with 
' her gown twisted round her arms,' the 
' avenging childe ' pursued her chase so 
thoroughly out of breath with it and her 
tumble that, as she galloped along, she only 
puffed and panted all but inaudibly her 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 73 



vociferations of ' Stop, stop, you robber ! you 
rogue ! you rascal !' etc. 

This wild hunt sent Judge Selbourne into 
roars of laughter as he rose from his chair, 
while Pat shouted to his partner, ' Biddy, 
Bridget, Mrs. O'Flaherty!' (he never omitted 
the noble O, the neglect of which was one 
of his great griefs against Morrison), ' will 
ye be plased to kape yer bastes and 
childer quiet ? Here is the Judge obliged to 
lose the pleasure of his visit to me, alongst 
o' thim and their disorders.' 

' Oh, here,' said the Judge, turning as he 
went out, ' I was almost forgetting the 
embrocation Mrs. Selbourne gave me for 
your arm.' 

6 The embarcation is it ? and what'll I do 
with it ? Drink it dow r n all at onst V 

' Drink it, man ? No, no ; let Bridget 
rub it well into your skin, will you ?' 

' I wull' 

' Mind now, Bridget, Pat has got the 
bottle — the embrocation.' 



74 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

i Is it to drink it, sur — the embarcation ?! 

' No, no, no, you foolish woman !' shouted 
back the Judge, as he crossed the road and 
untied and mounted his horse. ' Not a 
drop of it. Rub it well into his arm ; 
don't let a drop of it go into his mouth.' 

6 I wull ; he shall ; it shan't, sur.' 

The Judge shrugged again, as he had on 
his arrival, and laughed half his way home ; 
then, looking at his watch, ' No time for 
Mumbett this afternoon,' said he, as he 
alighted at his own door. 





CHAPTER VIII. 



Mumbett, for whom the Judge had no time 
that afternoon, was another inhabitant of 
Greenville to whom his charitable help and 
advice were frequently extended, needing 
both, as she did, quite as often as most of 
those whom he called his neighbours, and 
who were so in the more Scriptural sense of 
the title. 

The cottage inhabited by the woman 
known by this singular appellation was at 
the opposite extreme of the village from 
the Irish dwelling we have just described, 
and was as opposite to it in every respect as 
in its situation. A small patch of potatoes 
and Indian corn surrounded it, but both were 



76 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

maintained in thriving growth and condition 
by the incessant labour of her spade, hoe, 
and watering-pail. The fence round them 
never wanted a rail or a post, generally 
borrowed from the enclosures of her well-to- 
do neighbours, and dragged, carried, driven 
or laid into her own during the night, when 
she was quite as apt to be abroad and 
working as in the day. Her cottage, small 
and poor enough, was kept in habitable con- 
dition by the charitable assistance of Mr. 
Edwards, and her own indefatigable patching, 
thatching, and whitewashing, in and out ; 
she owed to the same worthy man's benevo- 
lence the cow which she pastured along the 
roadsides, and housed in a rickety out- 
building adjoining her cottage and warmed 
by its chimney. She took odd jobs of rough 
work from the village matrons in any house- 
hold stress, and even willingly in the fields, 
when the farmers allowed her to help weeding 
or stoning them, and received from them 
small but equitable wages for her toil ; and 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 77 

from their wives frequent tributes of super- 
fluous food and cast-off clothing, which the 
general humble prosperity of their condition 
made it an act of easy charity to bestow on 
her. 

Mumbett was an Indian, the last, and now 
a very aged, member of a gradually diminished, 
and now entirely extinguished, tribe of North 
American red-skins, who, as long as tradi- 
tion could tell, had gone by the name of the 
Green Water Indians — former inhabitants 
and possessors of the valley watered by that 
stream, who, driven away by its white 
invaders and possessors, still continued for 
a number of years to return annually to a 
burial - ground not far from Greenville, 
believed to contain the bones of their wild 
forefathers. 

By degrees, the numbers of these pilgrims 
to the dwellings of the dead grew fewer and 
fewer, and within no living recollection was 
any of them seen but Mumbett, who, for 
some reason of her own, had wandered alone 



78 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

back to their haunt in Massachusetts, while 
the small remnant of her tribe joined them- 
selves to the still comparatively numerous 
band of the Oncidas, in the settlement 
assigned to them by the State Government 
of New York. 

Her Indian blood bore its own witness in 
her tawny skin, high cheek-bones, small bead 
black eyes, and the once straight shining 
black hair (now, indeed, grown snow-white), 
and, combined with her solitary life and 
solemn speech, or still more solemn habitual 
silence, gave a slight feeling of dislike and 
distrust, not quite unmingled with supersti- 
tion, to the sentiment with which the younger 
members of the village community regarded 
her. She was very old and quite unable to 
tell her own age, but had preserved extra- 
ordinary muscular strength, powers of endur- 
ance, swiftness of foot, and savagely keen 
use of eyes and ears — seeing and hearing 
at distances which seemed almost preter- 
natural to the American descendants of the 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 79 

English New England emigrants of former 
years. A broad, low pallet bed, some coarse 
culinary utensils, and the roughly tanned 
and dressed skins of wild animals, wolves 
and bears, formed the furniture of her cabin, 
in which she kept various assorted packages 
of wild herbs for decoctions, which she 
asserted to be healing in many animal and 
human disorders, and to which, in thecredulity 
of ignorance, her village neighbours occasion- 
ally resorted, and from which they, as often 
as not, derived temporary relief, if not perma- 
nent cure ; the really medicinal properties 
of the vegetable products of her native woods 
and waters being well known to the ex- 
perience of one accustomed to haunt them. 

Philters and charms of a more potent 
and less popular nature she professed also 
to possess — beneficent love-charms and male- 
ficent spells ; but of these she rarely spoke, 
and still more rarely made use, the shrewd 
good sense and general intelligence of her 
Yankee patrons, as well as their strict 



8o FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

religious faith, tending alike to throw dis- 
credit upon these semi-supernatural preten- 
sions of one who would undoubtedly have 
been burned for a witch under the more 
bigoted laws of English colonial govern- 
ment in the capital of Massachusetts, Boston, 
and its neighbouring settlement, Salem. The 
materials of the combined use of which her 
cabin most frequently reeked were tobacco 
and the wild mint, whose strong aromatic 
decoction, liberally diluted with vile brandy, 
she found equally salutary and agreeable. 

Of Mumbett's very peculiar religious 
opinions and sentiments it was difficult to 
obtain any definite idea ; the more zealous 
church-members shook their heads occasion- 
ally over the unreclaimed heathen. The 
religious mind of Greenville was, how- 
ever, not a little exercised in another direc- 
tion than that of the poor Indian savage's 
semi-idolatrous persuasions. It was a per- 
fectly notorious fact that Judge Selbourne 
himself, born in Boston and educated at 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 81 

Harvard, was a member of the profession 
then prevalent in that city and university : 
he was a Unitarian, and as such would 
hardly have been held entitled to the name 
of a Christian by the Methodist, Baptist, 
Presbyterian, and generally Calvinistic sects, 
among which the large majority of the 
Protestant inhabitants of the New England 
States was divided. But Judge Selbourne, 
and many members of his family, contri- 
buted more liberally than anyone in the 
whole valley, or even in Gordonton, to the 
Methodist church, where all the inhabitants 
worshipped. He and his wife attended its 
services, and he was upon terms of the most 
friendly intimacy with the Reverend Mr. 
Edwards, its beloved and respected minister. 
His daily acts of beneficence, benevolence, 
kindness, helpfulness, and unselfish devotion 
to those among whom he passed his life, 
might have, suggested charitable judgments of 
his opinions to those who certainly testified 
their appreciation of, by their incessant 

6 



82 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

demands upon, them, whether they acknow- 
ledged their source to be correct religious 
profession, or only unregenerate practice. 

Mumbett was an object of interest and 
sympathy with the Judge, whose studies had 
not unfrequently led him to the traditional 
records of the North American tribes, and 
more especially to those of the branch to 
which she belonged. He always stopped his 
horse at her cottage door, to ask what 
especial want Mrs. Selbourne could just then 
supply for her, and never turned away with- 
out leaving some small money contribution 
as his own tribute to her poverty. 

Mumbett's most frequent and much most 
favourite visitors, however, were the Morrison 
sisters and William Norris ; Susan was not 
without some slight fear of the weird-look- 
ing wild woman, but never failed when she 
came to bring some home-made bread, or 
savoury soup, or fresh butter, to propitiate 
her goodwill. William brought his Bible, 
and read and explained, and tried with the 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 83 

utmost patience and zeal to awaken in the 
mind of his hearer what he hoped might 
prove the dawn of that saving light to 
which he strove to lead her. But Mary, 
who brought her neither bodily nor spiritual 
food, was the only one of them who really 
found or imparted any pleasure in her visits 
to the Indian cottage. 

The girl's wild and the woman's savage 
nature had something akin to each other ; 
and the absorbed attention with which Mary 
sat and listened to the accounts of the 
scattered tribes ; the wrong as she (in common 
with the narrator) held their being driven 
forth from their native forest fastnesses 
to be ; their bloody feuds, in which Mumbett's 
ancestors figured with ferocious triumph ; 
the supernatural and pathetic legends of the 
Indian mythology — all combined to exercise 
a powerful charm over her imagination ; 
while the strange uses and abuses which 
the Indian attributed to the weeds and 
leaves, the bones and toad and snake-skins 

6 — 2 



84 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

hung round the cabin walls, excited her 
curiosity, and to some degree impressed her 
with a belief of the possible truth of the 
qualities attributed to them. Some of the 
hours which her mother supposed she spent 
in profitless wood -wanderings were un- 
doubtedly passed where she would still more 
have condemned her so passing them, in the 
company and cottage of Mumbett, the 
' heathen Indian savage.' 





CHAPTER IX. 

Except for the momentary flash of antagon- 
istic partisanship with which the disturbance 

at the forge had latterly excited the unevent- 
ful course of village existence, the years had 
rolled on with the smooth, gliding rapidity 
of uninterrupted monotony. Sickness and 
death, adverse fortune and sorrow darkened, 
and healthful labour, cheerful prosperity, 
content and happy family love brightened, 
the human lot of the Greenville folk. Mean- 
time, ao^e grew older and feebler in its older 
members, and youth older and stronger in 
the younger, as the seasons succeeded each 
other in peaceful procession — seedtime 
and harvest, the rosy blossoming of the 



86 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

apple orchards and their ruddy fruit-bearing, 
being the chief interest and variety in the 
outward aspect of the place. 

William Norris left his grandfather's 
house to pursue his studies at a strict 
Calvinistic college in the north of the county, 
where he was to prepare himself for the 
duties and labours of the minister's career, 
to which he, by his own choice, had devoted 
his life ; and his schoolmates and playmates, 
Morrison's daughters, saw him only on the 
occasions of the rare holidays when he re- 
visited Greenville, and when gradually a 
closer and more affectionate sympathy with 
the elder, Susan, manifested itself in their 
intercourse. 

The returning years brought the develop^ 
ment of the two girls to the entrance of the 
interesting period of early womanhood. 
They were both attractive in very different 
styles of beauty. Susan, short for her age, 
but whose delicately feminine figure recalled 
the rounded symmetry of the Medician Venus, 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 87 

appeared younger than she was ; partly 
because of her moderate stature, and partly 
from the peculiar simple serenity of her 
expression, the limpid clearness of her bright 
brown eyes, and the childlike sweetness of 
her smiling mouth. Her complexion was 
vivid, with the rosy colour of youth and 
health, which, combined with a skin as white 
as milk, gave her the nickname among her 
American girl companions of ' Strawberries 
and cream ;' her ringlets were of the sunny 
chestnut called ' auburn.' 

Mary was always taken, by those who did 
not know them, for the elder of the two. 
Taller than Susan by three inches, her lithe 
slender figure had a slow and slightly angular 
movement and gesture which contrasted 
strikingly with Susan's rapid, light, and 
smooth motion. Occasionally, too, a bearing 
that might almost be qualified as proud (the 
other girls called it haughty) corresponded 
to an expression akin to scorn in her serious 
face, the habitual look of which was one of 



$8 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

absent indifference to, when not of passionate, 
vehement participation in, what surrounded 
her. Her features were fine and regular ; 
the outline of her head, face and throat 
singularly noble ; her eyes (the gray -green 
known as hazel, the most powerfully expres- 
sive of various emotion) sometimes looked 
lighter than they were, and at others assumed 
a dark steel colour, almost black, from 
which quick flashes of lightning darted with 
a brightness too sudden and fierce for beauty. 
Her hair was her finest and most striking 
feature (if that expression can be applied to 
hair) ; it crowned, with a perfect glory of 
soft gold, her fine head, straight brows and 
white throat, falling in redundant waves 
down to her waist. She was as fair as her 
sister, but without the rosy vividness of 
Susan's complexion. 

It was not long before the apprehension 
Judge Selbourne had expressed to Morrison, 
and in which the latter had acknowledged 
his participation, was realized. Mr. Curtis, 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 89 



the proprietor of the Greenville Furnace, 
acted upon by the incessant representations 
and misrepresentations of O'Flaherty, to 
whom he owed the life of his son, and find- 
ing the sympathy of the majority of his 
fellow -workmen decidedly enlisted in the 
Irishman's behalf, while a dry admission of 
Morrison's justice was their only testimony 
in his favour, determined to dismiss the 
latter, and, with the noisy triumph of the 
Irishman and the quiet acquiescence of the 
Americans, the Englishman received a notice 
to give up his employment. 

' Who's to take his place — one of you ?' 
asked Judge Selbourne of Simmons, the 
foreman of the works under Morrison's 
administration. 

' Wal, I guess,' responded the latter, 
' some of us might do about as wall !' 

' Yourself, perhaps, Simmons ?' 

' Maybe so, Judge ; I calkilate we could 
keep things straight without being just so 
almighty particklar as Morrison is.' 



9 o FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

' No doubt ; let Flaherty smoke in all the 
buildings, the hay-barn included, and burn 
the whole concern to the ground, to Mr. 
Curtis's greater satisfaction.' 

' I don't know as that would be altogether 
necessary ; d'you suppose Morrison will re- 
move down from his place here to Valley 
Forge ?' asked the workman. 'There is a tidy 
house down there if he chose to take it.' 

' Yes,' said Judge Selbourne ; ' the house 
is well enough, but it's plaguy close to the 
swamp, Simmons, and I don't know how the 
English constitution of his family will agree 
with that, or that with it. Mrs. Morrison 
and the girls might be the worse for the 
change ; Morrison himself doesn't believe in 
fever and ague, and says he'll engage to live 
over a swamp without ever having anything 
of the sort.' 

' Wall now, if that ain't just like his 
English conceit ! To be sure, he mightn't 
catch anything so low, he does carry his 
nose so darned high.' 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 91 



And thus, with partial rejoicing and more 
general indifference, the Englishman, who, if 
he had not offended anyone (with the single 
exception of Flaherty), had certainly con- 
ciliated nobody by the strict and unsympa- 
thizing discharge of his duty, left the works 
at Greenville Furnace, and entered upon a 
new overseership at the iron foundry of 
Valley Forge. 





CHAPTER X. 



Morrison did not remove his family from 
their cottage at Greenville, and took willingly 
enough the rather longer walk to Valley 
Forge ; not unfrequently, however, to the 
utter contempt of Judge Selbourne's advice, 
shortening the distance by a path that went 
round the swamp, instead of the higher and 
drier but less direct road. 

This forbidding and certainly malarious 
bit of ground (if ground it could properly 
be called) was, in fact, a deep reservoir of 
black mud, covered with a surface of black 
water, extending for a space of about five 
acres in a hollow of the fields near Valley 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 93 

Forge. Too low to discharge its stagnant 
waters into the river, whose rushing stream 
in its near vicinity laboured with its natural 
enemy, the fierce furnace fires, in the service 
of men, they oozed slowly away by infil- 
tration that made the meadow-land all round 
their margin unsafe treading. A dwarf 
growth of stunted willows and alders covered 
with an impenetrable jungle the dark 
trembling surface of the pool at one end ; 
at the other, which was bare of bushes, the 
golden balls of the yellow and mother-of- 
pearl stars of the white water-lily formed 
a network of equally impenetrable but more 
attractive growth. The depth of this pool 
was not ascertainable, for no boat could be 
launched upon its forbidding surface, which 
resembled in all its gloomy features, though 
on a diminished scale, the great dismal 
Carolina swamp. Animals appeared to avoid 
by instinct its treacherous neighbourhood, 
and one unfortunate cow who had strayed 
into its clammy green meadow margin re- 



94 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

mained so inextricably swamped that its 
owners mercifully shot it, leaving its carcase, 
hide, horns, and whatever value they might 
have possessed, to rot down into the stagnant, 
semi-liquid, semi-solid surface. 

Morrison's new position, which had been 
procured for him by the interest of Judge 
Selbourne, was in every way satisfactory. 
One of the proprietors of the works, himself 
an Englishman, was glad to have him for 
their superintendent, and as he declined all 
Irish labour, the disturbing element of Irish 
character was not among the difficulties of 
the overseership. The only change brought 
into Morrison's habits by his new employment 
was an apparently trivial one : instead of 
returning home for his dinner or mid-day 
meal, he took it at the Forge, and only went 
back to Greenville when the works were 
shut up and all but the necessary night- 
labour stopped till morning. He gener- 
ally took the upper road home, and avoided 
the shorter but lower path by the swamp, 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 95 



which was damper in the evening than the 
morning. 

One evening, however, when he had been 
detained later than usual at Valley Forge, 
and thought it well to save time and his 
wife some anxiety (anxiety, however un- 
justified by circumstances, not unfrequently 
taking the form of irritability, was a pre- 
dominant element in her nature), he turned 
into the narrow swamp path. The last 
half-hour he had passed at the Forge had 
been in a smelting building, where some- 
thing had gone wrong, and he had lent his 
ow r n personal exertions to help the workmen 
in remedying it. He was a good deal heated 
by this effort, but, without paying much 
attention to this, pursued his way till he 
came to the pond, and stopped to look at it. 
The moon, high in the heavens, but still of 
a slender crescent shape, looked like some 
antique golden lamp, suspended by invisible 
cords to a brilliant star immediately above 
it ; the waters of the pool, agitated by the 



96 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

evening breeze, turned up their small dark 
ripples and edges with linings of silver to 
the light ; and, touched by the soft splendour, 
two white water-lilies balanced themselves 
on the black wavelets like fairy swans 
bathing in the moonlight. 

Morrison, struck with the unusual circum- 
stance of the flowers not having entirely 
closed at evening, was seized with a desire 
to possess himself of them, and, looking 
about to find some means of approaching the 
water's edge, observed several tufts of thicker 
and stronger rush-grass rising above the 
level of the marshy bit of meadow he had 
to cross. The distance was only a few feet, 
and with the help of these clumps of coarse 
reeds and a hurdle, which he took from the 
opposite side of the road, and threw down as 
a sort of causeway, he got so near the edge 
of the pond as to be able to reach with the 
curved end of his walking-stick the lilies he 
wished to capture, and contrived to secure his 
prize, and walked triumphantly home with it. 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 97 

Arrived at his cottage, the interior of 
which presented a very pleasant picture of 
modest comfort, he paused to contemplate it 
at the door. His wife and Susan sat sewing 
in the lamp -light by the table ; a small fire, 
burning almost to its embers, sent the 
pleasant warmth and fragrance, and soft 
purring flicker of flaming wood, through the 
room ; and Mary, within the light of the 
lamp, but less brilliantly illuminated by it 
than Susan, was reading a book she very 
nearly knew by heart (the ' Pilgrim's Pro- 
gress '), but which still, and always, in spite 
of her familiarity with it, retained a power- 
ful charm for her in its quaint and homely 
but most picturesque allegory. ' Mason 
on Self-Knowledge,' Newton's c Cardiphonia,' 
Cowper's hymns (if she only had his 
poems ! but poetry, except that of hymns, 
was a forbidden mental aliment in that 
house), and a number of Methodist tracts 
and works of devotion, were the only books 
Mrs. Morrison's strict sectarianism tolerated. 

7 



9 8 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

Morrison thought the room, with its three 
female heads of such different characters, a 
pleasant object, and coming in with ' Good- 
evening, wife and girls/ he laid the two 
beautiful water-lilies on the table. Mrs. 
Morrison only said : ' James, you got those 
in the swamp ; you shouldn't stop there, 
especially in the evening,' and got up to 
give him his evening meal ; the girls took 
the lilies : Susan put hers into a cup of water, 
where it rocked under the mellow lamp- 
light, and Mary twisted hers with some of 
its dark leaves and long brown stems in her 
splendid hair. Whatever ornament or addi- 
tion to her dress she adopted was always in 
striking harmony with it, and testified by its 
appropriate elegance to her innate sense of 
beauty, and her very decided consciousness 
of her own, which her mother, injudiciously 
enough, combated, sometimes by absolutely 
ignoring or denying it, which neither the girl 
herself nor anyone else could do ; at other 
times, speaking with terror and detestation 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 99 

of it as a snare of Satan, in which her child's 
soul was to be entangled to its perdition. 

As she returned, bringing in her husband's 
supper, her eye fell on the flower in Mary's 
hair : 

' Miserable vanity !' she exclaimed — 
' wretched self-worship and pernicious devo- 
tion to the pride of the eye, the pride of the 
flesh, and the outward adornment forbidden 
by the Apostle.' 

Mary sat silent, while her father, looking 
at her with affectionate admiration, only 
said : 

' The Apostle forbade plaiting, and jewels, 
and gold and silver, not, I think, Anna, a 
wild flower, in a w^ild mass of hair.' 

' The sinful vanity is the same,' said Mrs. 
Morrison ; i the Apostle, too, recommended 
the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. 
Perhaps you think the flower and the hair 
conducive to that ?' 

' Oh ! exclaimed Mary, ' I wish there 
wasn't a single hair of it.' 

7—2 



ioo FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

' You did your best, when you were a 
child, to fulfil that wish/ retorted her 
mother. 

' And bad was the best that time,' said 
the father. 

' And it grew again, darling,' said Susan, 
passing her hand lovingly over the beautiful 
ripples of soft gold. 

6 Oh yes ; it grew again, mores the pity !' 
said the mother. 

All this time, Morrison, quite unconscious 
that his feet were soaking wet with the 
swamp water, sat at his supper, till a slight 
shiver running over him reminded him of 
that fact, and admonished him to take off 
his wet shoes and dry his feet. 

In the night, when Susan was asleep, 
Mary got up, and deliberately cutting off all 
her redundant tresses short round her neck, 
threw the shining natural diadem of her 
head out of the window. It fell on the 
doorstep, where, glistening in the morning 
sunshine, her father found it, as he started 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 101 

for his early walk to his work, Very much 
shocked and grieved at this ruthless sacrifice 
of the girl's great beauty, he took it up, and, 
tenderly kissing it, rolled it round his hand 
and put it inside his waistcoat, not knowing 
which pained him most deeply — his wife's 
inexorable strictures, or Mary's inexorable 
resentment of them. The night had been 
for him one of little rest or comfort ; his 
mind had been disturbed by the scene at his 
supper, and before morning he had had a 
much severer return of the chill he had ex- 
perienced the preceding evening ; but, robust 
in his usual health, and extremely averse to 
paying any attention to trifling disturbances 
in it, he set off for Valley Forge, but was 
soon made aware of some decided disorder 
in his system by an acute pain in his side, 
and difficulty in breathing. Still thinking 
these symptoms of no great importance, he 
went through his daily work without at- 
tending to them, which, however, he was 
compelled to do, by the increased pain 



io2 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

and difficult respiration as he walked 
home. 

The next morning, Mrs. Morrison, in spite 
of his opposition, begged Dr. Moore, the 
village ^Esculapius, to look in and see her 
husband, who received, to his considerable 
vexation, the strictest orders not to leave 
the house. 

Dr. Moore, who was considered by some 
of his acquaintances rather mad, and by all 
of them very eccentric, had given grounds 
for this opinion by his actions and course of 
life, which certainly were singular, to say 
the least of them. He was the son of a 
Green Valley farmer, who had given him the 
very unusual advantage of a college educa- 
tion ; thinking him unusually gifted, and 
ambitious that his training should answer to 
his gifts. The son so far justified his father s 
expectations, that he distinguished himself 
early when only a medical student, and 
while he was still quite a young man, as an 
uncommonly able and successful practitioner. 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 103 



His professional success was so remarkable 
that nobody doubted his soon achieving both 
fame and fortune, as one of the leading 
physicians of Boston, when, his father's 
illness and death calling him back to his 
native village, he delighted his competitors 
and astonished everybody, by relinquishing 
his very promising career in the city, and 
taking up his abode in the neighbourhood of 
Greenville. He was a gentleman and a 
scholar ; and between himself and Judge 
Selbourne an intercourse of very cordial 
intimacy soon ripened into a strong friend- 
ship and growing satisfaction in each other's 
society. Though apparently he had aban- 
doned his profession as a means of livelihood, 
Dr. Moore still exercised it with great interest 
and activity among his neighbours, and 
within a circuit of considerable extent; having 
originally embraced it for its own sake, he 
continued to practise it from an intense 
interest in it, and a benevolent desire to 
serve his fellow T -creatures. His care was 



i©4 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

given, and it was widely solicited, gratui- 
tously, to the poorer inhabitants of the 
villages of Green Valley, and generally 
acknowledged, by the well-to-do farmers and 
manufacturers, by payments, such as they 
considered appropriate to his services, and 
which he accepted without ever reckoning 
whether they were adequate to them, or 
would have been deemed so by the medical 
fraternity. He was an omnivorous reader, 
but especially voracious of all modern works 
relating to his profession ; and no mean 
classical scholar, Homer and the great Greek 
dramatists being among his not infrequent 
intellectual studies. His independent fortune 
sufficed his very moderate mode of life ; a 
picture of a lovely woman, the only ornament 
of his modest abode, giving some pretext for 
the notion prevalent about him, that a dis- 
appointed attachment had determined the 
abandonment of his city life and success in 
his career. 

After forbidding Morrison s leaving the 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 105 



house, Dr. Moore stopped at the Selbournes', 
and met the Judge at his own door. 

' How is Morrison ?' inquired the latter. 

i Morrison is not dying yet, but will be 
before the end of the week.' 

i God bless me ! you don't say so ; so 
suddenly as that !' 

6 Inflammation of the lungs makes quick 
work.' 

They walked on in silence. 

' I am very, very sorry !' said Mr. 
Selbourne ; i a valuable man — an interesting 
man.' 

' Yes ; but, you see, an Englishman, who 
doesn't believe in fever and ague in the 
marshes of Massachusetts, because they 
don't have it in Lancashire ; and who, if 
they had had it in Manchester, would never 
have believed it could touch him. He has 
got his death from that Valley Forge 
Swamp, and no mistake.' 

6 1 am terribly sorry I ever advised him 
to take that situation.' 



106 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

6 I am going in here/ said the doctor, as 
they passed Mr. Edwards' house. 

' How is dear old Mr. Edwards going 
on?' 

6 Oh ! very well, very well ; it was but a 
slight attack, after all. Paralysis at his age 
is apt to be a more serious matter.' 

6 But his speech ?' 

6 He won't recover that entirely ; par- 
tially, perhaps, but there will always remain 
more or less impediment.' 

' Won't he be able to resume his minis- 
try ?' 

' No, I should think not ; but there is 
his grandson able to take charge of the 
church and people now, isn't he ?' 

' Not quite yet, I think ; I doubt if he 
is quite of the age to take orders yet ; and 
there has been some talk of his going back 
to Hillsborough to finish his divinity studies 
there.' 

' Oh ! Well, if that lad isn't ready to 
preach to us,' said the doctor, l there are 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 107 

plenty who are ; some boy will come and 
tell us all about life, death, and immor- 
tality, knowing quite as much of the one 
as the other — no want of parsons. They'll 
send you somebody to do dear old Edwards' 
duty, till his grandson is fit to undertake a 
cure of souls. I'm glad mine's only a cure 
of bodies — not quite so devilish difficult !' 

Here the friends parted, and Dr. Moore 
went in to see Mr. Edwards, who had 
suffered a slight paralytic stroke, from 
which, however, he was apparently recover- 
ing. 

Not ten days after this meeting between 
Dr. Moore and Judge Selbourne,the latter was 
sitting by the bed where James Morrison lay 
on the very edge of death. The acute attack 
of inflammation had indeed done quick work, 
and the man, exhausted with sharp pain, lay 
now so still and silent that the expectation of 
the end was present with him and all about 
him. The room w^as darkened, and, except 
the measured ticking of the hall clock, no 



io8 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

sound but the struggling respiration and 
spasmodic cough of the dying man was 
heard throughout the small house. Judge 
Selbourne sat by the bed-head, and, oppo- 
site to him, the wife, holding her husband's 
hand, and every now and then wiping his 
forehead, and stooping to catch some 
whispered word. Two tears had crept as 
slowly down her face as if they had eaten 
their way into her cheeks, and remained 
without falling, all but corroding the surface 
of the skin with the bitterness of their slow 
silent drops. At the foot of the bed Susan 
had sunk down on the floor, dissolved in 
tears, that poured over her smooth young 
face like heavy rain over flowers. On the 
other side stood Mary, and Mr. Selbourne 
thought he had never beheld such sorrow in 
any human countenance as hers. No tears, 
not even the reluctant ones of her mother, 
had fallen from her eyes, whose fixed and 
stony gaze was riveted to her father's face. 
A deep furrow of intense pain contracted her 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 109 

forehead, and the corners of her mouth were 
drawn down with the same anguish ; her 
clasped hands showed in white lines the con- 
vulsed pressure of her fingers, and every 
now and then a strong shudder shook her 
from head to foot. 

All was silent in the room, as the 
muffled footsteps of death drew nearer and 
nearer to the bed. Morrison drew his wife 
down towards him, and, giving her a paper 
folded under his hand, said, ' Take care of 
this ' — it was Mary's hair. 

She took care of it, and locked it safely 
away, looking at it again only, when she did 
so, with a pang of sickening mother s yearn- 
ing over the relic of her child's beauty, and 
a sense of spiritual satisfaction in the sacri- 
fice of it. 

Morrison held her down, and presently, 
in a whisper that grew fainter and fainter, 
and more interrupted with gasps of difficult 
breathing, said : ' Anna, do you remember 
the field by the canal at Worsley — how 



no FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

sweet the cowslips and primroses were there 
in the spring ? There are none here — 
England !' 

That was the last word. He died, and 
was buried in the beautiful graveyard by 
the village meeting-house, where the dead, 
if they could open their eyes, would look on 
one of the fairest regions of valley, moun- 
tain, wood and meadow that the earth 
can show. No cowslips or primroses grew 
on his grave — not even the familiar daisy 
and hardy hedge-rose of his English home 
grew near it ; but the splendid rhododendrons, 
azaleas and kalmias of his adopted land shed 
their brilliant petals on the earth where he 
slept, and often on the prostrate form of 
his youngest child, who, with her warm 
young bosom throbbing against the pitiless 
stone, and her lips pressed to the name en- 
graved on it, wailed in a low voice of bitter 
desolation : i Come back ! Oh ! come back 
and help me f 




CHAPTER XI. 



Morrison's death made but little difference to 
the small community in which he lived. He 
was respected, but not liked, by the people 
he lived among, and would have been more 
liked had he been less respected ; for the 
qualities that commanded their esteem did 
not excite their sympathy, and his conduct 
in the matter of O'Flaherty's dismissal had 
impressed his American neighbours as want- 
ing in 'good nature,' a quality in which they, 
perhaps, superabounded. The loss of his 
salary at the iron-works was rather a serious 
one to his widow and daughters, and Mrs. 
Morrison, in her less easy circumstances, 
became more anxious in her mind, more 



ii2 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

irritable in her manner, and more melan- 
choly in her countenance. Susan, as usual, 
brought relief to the pressure of the strait- 
ened means by her indefatigable helpfulness 
in the management of the small household 
and its small economies, proposing at once, 
with smiling cheerfulness, to send away 
their servant-girl and take upon herself all 
the home work this step might involve. 
This, however, Mrs. Morrison opposed, as 
did Mary : the former, from a latent linger- 
ing pride of English ' gentility '; the latter, 
because, unable herself to give any efficient 
assistance to her sister, she could not bear 
to see her tasked with daily work, which 
Susan undertook and performed with an 
alacrity which in point of fact caused her no 
such effort as Mary (to whom such details 
of daily duty were irksome) imagined. 
Susan's desire to help her mother sug- 
gested to her another method of doing so ; 
and being a quick and skilful needlewoman, 
she presently made it known in the village 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 113 

that she would undertake dressmaking of 
a modest description ; and the ' ladies ' of 
the neighbourhood, Mrs. Selbourne, Mrs. 
Norris, Mrs. Curtis, and a few others to 
whom she was personally and most favour- 
ably known, as well as many of the neigh- 
bouring farmers 5 wives, were very glad to 
employ the industrious little English seam- 
stress. This source of revenue was a relief 
to Mrs. Morrison and Mary, and a positive 
pleasure to Susan herself ; and a further in- 
crease of their small income was presently 
obtained from another and quite unexpected 
quarter. 

Judge Selbourne and his wife would have 
made a charming picture of the best Dutch 
School, one evening, seated on each side 
of the bright, sparkling, flaming, flickering 
wood fire in their cheerful parlour, a small 
table with a lamp near the Judge, who was 
reading ; while Mrs. Selbourne, with less 
need for vivid light, pursued with the gentle 
click and glitter of tiny steel needles her 

8 



ii 4 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

creation of an exceedingly fine, soft, white 
woollen garment, with a constant succession 
of which she comforted the breast of her 
husband, the delicate texture of the fabrics 
communicating a sense of heart as well as 
skin warmth, imparted by the dear hands 
by which they were wrought. 

1 That is an eloquent praise of beauty/ 
said he, laying down the book, and removing 
his spectacles. 

' By whom V asked she. 

' A Frenchwoman of genius, who had but 
a small share of it herself — Madame de 
Stael.' 

6 It has always appeared to me that you 
set too high a value on good looks, Judge.' 

6 On mine or yours, my dear V 

' Not on your own, of course ; though/ 
added she meditatively, ' you might have 
done that, too.' 

' Oh, well, perhaps I did overvalue yours, 
as it was quite notorious that I married 
you only because you were so pretty,' said 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 115 

he, with a quizzical expression of profound 
gravity ; ' and I am bound to say I have 
found it answer.' 

' Oh ! I wash and wear well, as we say 
of our calicoes.' 

' Wash ? you certainly do ! and,' con- 
tinued he imperturbably, i I will do you 
the justice to say you have not worn thin ; 
quite the contrary.' This was mischievous 
of the Judge, who knew his wife deplored 
the expansion of her once slender shape 
into the by no means unbecoming propor- 
tions of her more matronly figure. i You, 
I know,' pursued he, ' regret this, and I do 
not, for, as Rosalind asks, can one have too 
much of a good thing V 

' At any rate, the colours are fast.' 

' Oh yes ! 

" 'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white 
Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on." ' 

The Judge knew his Shakespeare by heart, 
and was fond of quoting it. 

8 — 2 



n6 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

' You are only changed for the better, 
wife, since first I knew you.' 

A flush of gratified vanity and gratified 
love flitted over the sweet woman's counte- 
nance turned towards him, though her only 
reply was : 

' How can you talk such nonsense to an 
old woman of fifty, Charles V 

i You are not fifty, but twice twenty-five/ 
said he. 

6 Oh, how pretty !' she exclaimed. 

6 Yes, pretty enough to be offered to you, 
I thought ; but it is not mine — it is French. 
I sometimes wonder,' he went on, thought- 
fully tapping the side of his nose with his 
ivory paper-knife, ' that you women make, 
upon the whole, such poor use of your divine 
gift of beauty.' 

6 Divine gift ?' 

' Yes ! I say it advisedly ; every good and 
every perfect gift cometh from above ; and 
is not that good which wins all eyes and 
hearts for its possessor, at first beholding it V 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 117 

' Well, I'm sure that's not a talent often 
hid by us in a napkin.' 

' No, but neither is it often well employed ; 
and I think the wise and the foolish among 
you misuse it alike.' 

' How so ?' 

' Your foolish virgins and matrons, by 
making it a subject of ridiculous and con- 
temptible personal vanity and pride, as if it 
was self-bestowed, or a wicked worldly instru- 
ment of seduction and speculation. Of all 
created things, I do think a beautiful bad 
woman is the worst. On the other hand, 
the wise virgins and matrons, the serious- 
minded, sober-minded, religious as you, and 
unco guid, as I should say, pretend to ignore 
the gift entirely — a thing impossible to the 
possessor of it who looks in her glass, or 
sees how other people look at her. Next 
to that, they pretend that it is a worthless 
gift, which it is not, as the possessor of it 
feels and finds, every day and all day long ; 
and, lastly, they pretend that instead of a 



n8 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

blessing, given by the Giver of all blessings, 
it is a curse of the devil's, intended merely 
for the temptation of the owner and a snare 
to all beholders ; all which seems to me just 
as silly as it is wrong.' 

' And if you had a pretty girl to bring 
up, how would you manage in this respect ?' 

' I would make her beauty a most serious 
motive for her worthiness ; she should revere 
it as a trust, and obey it as an obligation. I 
would try to make her good, because she was 
beautiful ; and loveable, because she was 
lovely.' 

' What a pity you have not a school of 
handsome girls to try the experiment upon !' 

There was a moment's silence ; their child- 
lessness was the only cloud in the heaven of 
their happy married life. 

1 I am afraid,' resumed Mrs. Selbourne, 
' that one of our Greenville beauties is 
losing her good looks.' 

' Mary Morrison ?' 

' Yes ; she is very much changed lately. 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 119 

She used to look like a pale pink tea-rose, 
and of late she has looked more like a pale 
straw-coloured one, with those great blue 
shadows under her eyes too.' 

' Her father's death was a heavy blow to 
her.' 

' More so than to Susan ?' 

' Yes ; blows fall more heavily on resisting 
than on yielding surfaces : 

" The wind that beats the mountain, blows 
More softly on the open wold, 
And gently comes the world to those 
That are cast in a gentle mould." ' 

' Oh, it isn't her father's death only !' 

< What, then ?' 

6 I cannot say, but I'm sure there's some 
other trouble ; Morrison's death must have 
lessened their means very much.' 

' Yes ; but that valiant little soul, Susan, 
is making up the deficit gallantly.' 

' With her needle, poor thing ! I hope 
she will not overdo that. I don't believe 



i2o FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

her mother looks after her to prevent it. I 
suspect she's very harsh to them.' 

1 How I do pity that woman !' 

' What woman V 

6 That Englishwoman — Morrison's widow.' 

' Then you do for her more than she 
does for herself, I guess. I never saw a 
colder countenance than hers ; I'm sure 
she's hard.' 

* Perhaps not.' 

' Did you ever find her soft ?' said Mrs. 
Selbourne, laughing. 

' Oh, wife, wife, wife !' said the Judge, 
getting up and leaning his shoulders against 
the chimney-piece. ' You are a very dear 
woman ; but you are but a woman, after all. 

6 1 expect so,' said she, with the most 
entire satisfaction. 

1 You are like your whole sex : hungry, 
greedy for exhibition, expression, demon 
stration, profession, exteriority — to coin a 
word. The inward and spiritual grace is 
nothing to you without the outward and 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 121 

visible sign ; and you are all of you as hard 
as poor, dear old mad King Lear, to per- 
suade that 

" They are not empty -hearted 
Whose low sound reverbs no hollowness." ' 

' What's the use of tongues, if people 
don't say what they think ? or hearts, if 
they won't show what they feel V 

6 Those are the very people to be pitied, 
who can neither say nor show. There are 
such things as stuttering, stammering, mute, 
dumb minds and souls, to whom Nature has 
denied the gift of speech. They are the 
pitiable ones : the sorrow that cries out 
relieves itself by its cry ; the sorrow that 
cannot even groan stifles silently in its im- 
potency. The wounds that bleed inwardly 
are the worst, and I declare I have known 
hearts that seem to me like living palpi- 
tating creatures shut up in steel bars too 
tight for them.' 

* Oh !' said Mrs. Selbourne, with a soft 



i22 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

sigh, pressing her hand upon her own most 
tender bosom. 

The Judge's clerk here brought in a 
letter, opening and reading which, he thus 
imparted its contents to his wife : 

' Oh ! here's a letter about the new 
minister. The President of the Hills- 
borough College says he is sending us a 
most admirable successor in the ministry to 
dear old Mr. Edwards ; a burning and a 
shining light, a guiding example, a powerful 
persuader, a gifted preacher, a talented 
writer — evidently a latter-day saint and 
Methodist " admirable Crichton." Dr. 
Williamson winds up by Christian compli- 
ments to both of us, un-Christian dis- 
believers, or misbelievers, as he holds us to 
be, and an appeal for our kind assistance to 
brother Caleb Killigrew, in finding a re- 
spectable and suitable abode among our 
people in the village here for him.' 

' I'm sure I shan't like him,' said Mrs. 
Selbourne. 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 123 

1 Reasonable woman !' 

' I like dear Mr. Edwards so much !' 

' Reasonable woman !' 

' And they can t be like each other, you 
know.' 

1 Reasonable woman !' 

1 I'm going to bed/ said she, taking up 
her candle and work-basket. 

1 J°y S° with you !' said the Judge. 

' No ; I shall go by myself/ retorted she, 
laughing. 

As she reached the door, her husband 
called her back. 

- I say, Lizzy !' 

A thoughtful pause. 

< Well V 

6 Don't you think this pearl of parsons 
might find suitable quarters, quiet, comfort, 
and all necessary accommodation, with the 
Morrisons ? There's a spare room there 
now that was his business office, and I 
think the minister's board and lodging- 
would just come in admirably to prevent 



i2 4 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

any necessity for your favourite Susan work- 
ing herself to a thread-paper.' 

' Now, Judge !' exclaimed his wife, * that 
is a first-rate notion of yours, and I do love 
you for it. I declare it's worthy ' 

1 Of a reasonable woman,' said he. 

' It's real good of you,' she said, and, 
tapping him on the arm with patronizing 
approval, resumed her bedward progress, 
throwing back to her husband a smile as 
sweet as summer, and leaving him to the 
contemplation of the uses of beauty, the 
uses of speech, and the possible uses of 
Mrs. Morrison's spare room for the accom- 
modation of the Reverend Caleb Killiorew. 





CHAPTER XII. 



The Reverend Caleb Killigrew was neither 
ugly nor deformed. What he was emphati- 
cally, was common, but to so uncommon a 
degree that (but for the paradox) he might 
have been described as extraordinarily com- 
mon. His complexion was of a yellowish- 
white, his hair of a reddish-brown, smooth 
on his head, and with short whiskers that 
looked like half strings to it ; his eyes of a 
greenish-blue, like boiled gooseberries. He 
stood about five feet seven in his boots ; his 
figure was ill put together, awkward in 
repose and clumsy in movement ; he had 
splay feet, thumbs like shoulders of mutton, 
hands seldom clean, and nails not seldom 



126 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

dirty. His features were not bad, nor their 
expression repulsive, except when under the 
influence of any sudden angry emotion, 
when they assumed the low, malignant, 
spiteful, savage aspect w^hich the wild cat 
of his native woods exhibits : the most 
hideous, hateful, ignoble, and basely fierce 
of animal countenances. He was without a 
single grain of that exquisite, indefinable, 
indescribable essence — tact. He trampled 
on tendernesses, and handled, or rather 
mauled, sores ; and for himself, as well as 
others, rejoiced in a mental and moral 
epidermis like the hide of a rhinoceros. 
This helped him to be habitually good- 
tempered, supported — as, needing no support, 
it nevertheless was — by an unsoundable 
depth of self-conceit, and an immeasurable 
over-estimate of the importance of his 
clerical position and functions. 

No Pope ever believed himself more in- 
fallible ; and Mr. Selbourne, venturing once, 
in the heat of discussion, to qualify some 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 127 

proposition of his as ' silly/ received for 
sole reply, ' I silly V in such a tone of all 
but breathless amazement, that the Judge 
could not recall it for years after without 
fresh laughter at the intense, immense, 
involuntary and unconscious conceit it ex- 
pressed. 

The eulogistic tone of the letter of intro- 
duction written to Mr. Selbourne by the 
Principal of the Hillsborough Calvinistic 
College was by no means unjustifiable from 
that dignitary's point of view. Brother 
Caleb Killigrew was irreproachable in his 
morals, strict in his conduct, decorous in his 
manners, a clever writer of flippant and 
familiar religious articles in a popular 
sectarian newspaper, and a powerful preacher 
— in the sense, at any rate, of possessing a 
powerful voice, the use of which often gave 
startling effect to the warnings, denuncia- 
tions and threats of his abundantly wordy 
(rather than eloquent) prayers, exhortations, 
and discourses. 



128 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

Such was the person who, having driven 
over in a dirty sulky from the eighteen 
miles distant Hillsborough Seminary, alighted 
at the Greenville Tavern, or coftee-house, 
the red-brick building for the accommoda- 
tion of travellers in that village, and, leaving 
his conveyance there, and carrying his valise, 
followed the directions he received to Mrs. 
Morrison's cottage, where he arrived while 
she was busy in her kitchen, Susan in the 
preparations necessary for his reception in 
the spare room, and Mary arranging some 
wild-flowers William Norris had brought in 
from the woods for her sister. A loud 
knock at the door drew her from this occu- 
pation, and on her opening it, Mr. Killigrew 
immediately entered, and walking straight 
and uninvited into the sitting-room, deposited 
his valise on the floor with an uncere- 
monious — 

6 This is Morrison's, I guess, and you 
are ' 

6 Mary Morrison.' 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 129 

' Oh ! ah ! one of the daughters. Well, 
Miss Mary, I am the Reverend Caleb 
Killigrew, and I presume am expected here, 
as I was given to understand I should be 
as a boarder in the house/ 

' Yes/ said Mary, ' you are ; I will call my 
mother/ 

She went to do so, and Mrs. Morrison 
and Susan, entering simultaneously, found 
their visitor and future inmate seated in the 
only rocking-chair, the mother's peculiar 
seat in the room, having taken up one of 
the books from the table, and one of the 
flowers that lay waiting to be put into the 
water. He did not get up or remove his 
hat on the entrance of the women, but gave 
them a friendly nod, and said, throwing down 
the volume : 

' Good, very good ! Glad to find you feed 
your souls with the like ; somewhat English, 
though, in tone, and less searching, less pene- 
trating — well, less spirit-stirring — than what 
we will give you. Now then, if you'll just 

9 



i 3 o FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

put me into my room ' — here he twisted 
and threw on the ground the flower he had 
taken, and resumed his valise — ' I'll take 
possession without first slaying, ha, ha ! like 
Ahab and Jezebel in Naboth's lot ; and we 
shall soon, please the Lord, be friendly and 
familiar all together.' 

Susan looked with a surprised smile, Mary 
with a surprised stare, at the reverend 
gentleman ; and their mother, making a stiff 
little English curtsey to the cloth, led him 
to his quarters, a little relieved of her 
natural and national shyness by his total 
want of it, and thinking with satisfaction 
of the probable ease with which so easy a 
boarder would receive the simple accommo- 
dation of her roof and table. 

The servant-girl, who had been discharged 
after Morrison's death and Susan's assump- 
tion of her duties, had been replaced, in ex- 
pectation of the additional work made neces- 
sary by the additional inmate, by an Irish 
girl, whose wild-eyed ignorance of anything 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 131 

but hovel life in a bog was taxing all the 
efforts at education of Mrs. Morrison and 
Susan to a degree that the whole of her 
work accomplished by themselves could not 
have done. The partly-trained ' help/ who 
had already profited by the orderly system 
of the Morrison establishment, had been 
eagerly seized upon, when dismissed thence, 
by Mrs. Selbourne. The increasing fre- 
quency of Irish emigration was already be- 
ginning to make itself felt by the invasion 
by the children of Erin into the domestic 
service and the factory labour, till then ac- 
cepted by American girls without any sense 
of degradation, but from which they with- 
drew by degrees entirely, not choosing to 
endure the companionship of the less intelli- 
gent, less refined, and less educated element 
brought into America by their Irish com- 
petitors. 

The abundant afternoon meal of the early- 
dining Greenville people — a substantial one 
of bread and butter, hot buttered cakes, 

9—2 



132 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

sweet cakes, crackers, cold meat, grated 
hung beef, cheese, preserves, pickles, and 
tea — having been duly honoured by the 
minister, with occasional commendations and 
remarks as to the beneficial effect of his 
drive upon his appetite, was wound up by 
thanksgiving both for the latter and the 
supply it had received, and was succeeded 
by a series of questions as to the worldly con- 
dition and circumstances of his new family, 
and their still more private spiritual ones, 
which were not so easily answered. An 
early hour brought the time of evening 
prayer, and the three women, having com- 
posed themselves reverently for it, were a 
little dismayed by the clergyman demanding : 

6 Where is the girl ? You said you keep 
a girl, Mrs. Morrison ? I presume you do 
not worship God without every member of 
your household joining in that holy prac- 
tice.' 

* My girl is Irish, and a Catholic,' replied 
Mrs. Morrison. 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 133 

' A Catholic ? Good heavens ! is it 
possible ? a member of that abominable 
Church ! a professor of that idolatrous creed 
— if creed it can be called — and you do not 
hesitate to receive such an one into the 
bosom of your Christian family ! and, having 
done so, you do not compel her to worship 
to her soul's salvation in the only true faith ! 
You deliver her over to Satan without an 
effort to rescue her from his clutches !' 

The ministers voice was growing loud. 
Mary went quickly out of the room, and 
after a few minutes returned. 

6 She will not come ; she says her priest 
forbids her.' 

Mr. Killigrew lifted his eyes and hands in 
horror to the ceiling, and forthwith began his 
impending devotions, in which the wretched 
Catholic girl was duly remembered, with holy 
acrimony ; the error of those who harboured 
her, with supplications for averted judgment; 
and mention made of the late lost head of 
the family, to the effect that the chastening 



134 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

dispensation might be made profitable to its 
members, and incline them to thankfulness 
for his place being supplied by a spiritual 
husband and father, to the inestimable benefit 
of their souls. 

Mrs. Morrison started at the reference to 
her husband by name in this prayer ; Susan 
cried, and Mary winced at it ; but such per- 
sonal applications were quite frequent in the 
sectarian practice of that day, and, though 
painful, perhaps, to some persons, were not 
either unusual or considered offensive. After 
this, however, and a vain attempt to induce the 
recalcitrant Papist to join the family worship, 
Mrs. Morrison felt herself bound to dismiss 
her, her daughters and herself performing 
the whole of the household duties, the 
Reverend Mr. Killigrew's boot and clothes 
brushing included ; till Mrs. Selbourne, in a 
paroxysm of benevolent fury, took the Irish 
girl into her own household, sending back the 
Yankee f help 'to the succour of the Morrisons, 
where she duly formed a member of the family 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 135 

gathering at prayers ; at which the minister 
expressed his satisfaction, and his conviction 
that the temporary trial had been a spiritual 
blessing to the hard-working Christian 
females of the household. 

William Norris came speedily to pay his 
respects to the minister who was tempor- 
arily to supply his grandfather's pulpit, and 
was abundantly edified by the priestly 
patronage of that gentleman, who, at the 
end of the young man s visit, did not so 
much propose, as propound his determina- 
tion, to accompany him back to Mr. 
Edwards'. 

' Who, no doubt,' said he, ' will be 
pleased to see me, and take my views as to 
the proper religious instruction and govern- 
ment of a Christian congregation, which I 
shall be happy to put forth to him.' 

Mr. Edwards had instructed and guided 
the Greenville Christians for upwards of 
twenty years, but received his brother in 
the faith with the gentle courtesy inherent 



136 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

in his nature and cultivated in his daily 
practice, expressing his thankfulness that so 
able an official should have been deputed in 
his place, and his conviction that the com- 
munity could not but profit greatly by the 
exchange of Brother Killigrew's powerful 
(this was the epithet always applied to the 
Reverend Caleb) influence, as contrasted 
with his own feeble efforts, ' which lately,' 
he added, with touching humility, ' have, I 
fear, lost the little force they ever may have 
possessed by the gradual failing of my health. 
The spirit, you know, honoured and dear 
brother, is willing, but the flesh is weak.' 

' True — very true,' replied the robust 
Killigrew ; i and it has been, no doubt, an 
appointed trial to you, my good sir, to find 
yourself failing in mind and body, for which, 
questionless, you have been duly grateful. 
To fall below my appointed duties, and be 
wanting in my highest obligations, is an 
experience, I am thankful to say, I am 
hitherto unacquainted with.' 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 137 

i Long may you be so, my dear sir !' 
murmured the invalid. ' Long may others 
derive benefit from your vigorous ministry !' 

6 Amen f said the other, without a 
shadow of doubt in his tone that it would 
be so, and could not be otherwise. 

' You have, I rather think,' he continued, 
' a special element of difficulty hereabouts, 
in the residence in your midst of some un- 
christian individuals — a disbelieving doctor 
and a misbelieving judge.' 

' The latter is an excellent friend of 
mine ' 

' And a most excellent man,' softly inter- 
posed William Norris, to whom the authori- 
tative condemnation of the new minister, 
though carrying undoubted weight, was 
nevertheless painful. 

' Young man !' sternly exclaimed the 
master and pastor, in whose favour we 
reverse the professional titles, ' who do you 
presume to pronounce excellent ? Miserable 
sinner, that you must confess yourself; 



138 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

miserable sinners, that we all confess our- 
selves — mere worms of earthly corruption — 
excellent ! I fear you are as yet in the gall 
of bitterness to apply such a term to the 
professedly unregenerate members of a 
latitudinarian creed. But doubtless you 
have been misled by your grandfather's 
unhappy — shall I say unholy ? — partiality 
for such persons ; and you may be shown 
the scandal and the error of such ways.' 

William Norris left the room ; Mr. 
Edwards gave a deep sigh, expressive of 
physical and moral exhaustion ; and Mr. 
Killigrew, having evidently made as painful 
an impression on him as possible of his 
failure in public and private duty, wound up 
his visit by saying : 

' A sad, a very sad consequence, I fear, 
my dear brother, of your own lax princi- 
ples with regard to Christian companionship 
and community of spirit. Farewell ! I am 
sorry not to be able to improve our present 
meeting longer ; but I will come again, 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 139 

never fear — I will come again. Meantime, 
I leave these toothsome crumbs of 
Christian comfort for the nourishment of 
Christian souls.' 

So saying, he placed on the table a parcel 
of tracts and a copy of the Hillsborough 
Warner, and left the room, banging the 
door and that of the house consecutively, so 
as to shake it and the invalid both to their 
foundations. 

The Reverend Caleb Killigrew had 
started with a determination to invade the 
abodes of those whom he considered his 
only adversaries in his pious crusade of 
Greenville regeneration, and made direct for 
Dr. Moore's house. The door, upon which 
he gave a loud knock, not being opened, but, 
in fact, like most doors in the village, open, 
he proceeded towards another which stood 
ajar, and entered the small room where 
Dr. Moore stood, evidently in the act of 
sallying forth, but stopped, with some ill- 
concealed annoyance, by the intrusion. 



i 4 o FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

6 Are you come/ said he, in his usual 
rapid, sharp utterance, 'for immediate advice 
and assistance ? Because, though I am 
just going out, I will stop a moment to hear 
what you have to say.' 

' I am come to give, not to receive, 
advice and assistance,' replied the visitor ; 
' to impart medicine for your immortal soul, 
not to ask it for my perishable body.' 

' Oh !' said the doctor, making for the 
door, ' another time, if you please.' 

' Now is the appointed time ; now is the 
day of salvation.' 

' May be so ; but the time is ten o'clock, 
and the day of my appointment Tuesday. 
I have something else to attend to.' 

' Let me leave these with you, at least, 
for the convenient season, if it be ever 
mercifully vouchsafed to you.' 

The doctor snatched from the hands that 
pressed them upon him two tracts and the 
paper, and read : ' " Green grass for sheep 
that have wandered from the fold." I am 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 141 

not herbivorous/ said he. i " The last 
whistle ; hurry up, or the train will be 
gone." And I'm never late for the train/ 
said he ; and, letting the religious newspaper 
fall, without even looking at it, he left the 
room with a quick ' Thank you. Good- 
morning, good-morning. I don't read that 
sort of thing.' 

The minister stood aghast, with his mouth 
open, and, slowly picking up the newspaper 
and his rejected tracts from the floor, de- 
parted — mentally shaking the dust of that 
unhallowed habitation from his feet — and 
turned towards the residence of Mr. Sel- 
bourne, with undiminished determination 
in his purpose, and expectation of success 
in its fulfilment. 

Mr. Selbourne was a deservedly dis- 
tinguished son of a deservedly distinguished 
father, who had been a member of his own 
State Legislature, and conspicuous alike for 
the integrity and ability with which he dis- 
charged the duties of his office. His other 



142 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

sons were men of mark, high in the ranks 
of the New York and Albany Bars ; their 
sister, the authoress of several charming 
works of fiction, was universally known and 
admired for the merit of her literary produc- 
tions. The name of the whole family was 
synonymous, wherever it was heard, with 
moral and intellectual superiority ; and the 
kindly, cordial, gracious and graceful hospi- 
tality with which Mr. and Mrs. Selbourne 
welcomed all visitors to their enchanting 
mountain region had given an additional 
charm of delightful social intercourse* to 
that of the picturesque beauty of Green- 
ville. 

Their own country -people took pride in 
bringing foreigners of distinction to their 
abode in their remote village ; and these 
strangers returned to their European cities 
with an experience of refined manners and 
mental cultivation such as would have 
honoured, and been honoured by, the best 
society of the most civilized capital, with 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 143 



the added charm of the purest morality and 
noblest simplicity of life. 

Mr. Selbourne himself, though invariably 
addressed by his legal title by his title- 
loving folk, had withdrawn from the exercise 
of his profession from a disinclination to 
practise it, an almost morbid shrinking from 
any form of publicity, and a passionate love 
for his own home among the mountains and 
valleys of his native district. With his pre- 
ference for it over all other places of resi- 
dence his wife heartily sympathized ; and 
among the inhabitants he commanded a 
sentiment of respectful regard as nearly akin 
to reverence as was compatible with the 
Yankee character and the habitual familiarity 
of intercourse — which in this instance belied 
the proverb and did not breed contempt. 
But the angel of this world, Reverence, 
had never laid his admonishing touch upon 
the Reverend Caleb Killigrew, who, undis- 
mayed by the remotest misgiving as to his 
own superiority over these very superior 



i 4 4 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

people, now approached the Selbourne 
house. 

Mrs. Selbourne had once, early in her 
married life, met with an experience a little 
similar to that with which she was now un- 
consciously threatened. Soon after she came 
to her home in Greenville, one day when 
her husband was absent, she answered her- 
self a knock at the door, and was rather sur- 
prised by the immediate entrance of two 
men, whose dusty and heated appearance 
indicated travelling on foot in the public 
road at noonday. Of course, any demand 
for charity was not to be dreamed of, that 
being altogether impossible in the rural New 
England of those days ; so, ushering her un- 
known visitors into her parlour, she asked 
them what their business might be, and if in 
the Judge's absence she could be of any use 
to them. One of them, with constant re- 
petition of the last words of his sentences 
by the other, then explained that they were 
engaged in a religious work, having under- 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 145 



taken a journey on foot for the purpose of 
calling as they went along at the various 
houses they passed, to pray, and praise God 
with their inmates ; to exhort, to arouse, to 
awaken, and, in short, fulfil an Apostolic 
duty of Christian wayfaring through the 
district. They deplored the absence of the 
Judg^e, but thought the Judge's wife micrht 
benefit by their zeal ; and giving one another 
a preparatory glance and push, simulta- 
neously uplifted their voices in a Methodist 
hymn w^hich prolonged itself through five 
verses, at the conclusion of which one after 
the other put up prayers and petitions of 
considerable length and fervour, and then 
prepared to take their departure, having 
fulfilled their edifying mission. Mrs. Sel- 
bourne begged them to stay a moment, and, 
hurrying from the room, returned presently, 
followed by a servant with cake and wine on 
a tray, of which she begged them to partake, 
thanking them at the same time for their 
call, of the kind motive of which she ex- 

10 



146 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

pressed herself convinced. The peripatetic 
preachers and teachers very readily accepted 
the welcome refreshment, and departed, 
leaving the provider of it not, perhaps, much 
edified, but not much surprised either, at an 
incident which was quite in accordance with 
the religious spirit and manners of the day. 

Since then, she had never received any 
similar visit ; and the influence of Mr. 
Edwards, whose natural refinement was 
rather opposed to some of these exhibitions 
of the devotional zeal of his Methodist 
and Baptist fellow-Christians, had enabled 
him to protect her from like pious inroads of 
his brethren. He did not think her or her 
husband good subjects for such ministrations, 
nor, as his daily intercourse with them 
tended to convince him, did he, in spite of 
all his sectarian prejudices, believe they 
stood in need of them. 

Mr. Killigrew had not, however, con- 
sulted him on the matter, and now inquired 
if Judge Selbourne was at home. 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 147 

'No.' 

' Then Mrs. Selbourne V 

' Yes.' 

Mrs. Selbourne was in, and just then in 
the act of writing to a very dear and distant 
sister, which occupation she put aside with 
quick courtesy as soon as her visitor entered, 
giving him her immediate attention, with a 
gentle inquiry in her countenance as to the 
purport of the visit. 

6 I am Mr. Killigrew,' said that gentleman, 
seating himself before she could well invite 
him to do so ; ' the new minister ; and I 
am come to warn you to flee from the devil 
and escape from the wrath to come.' 

Mrs. Selbourne gave a little jump on her 
chair, and finding no words adequate to her 
need, he proceeded : 

' I am aware that I may be considered 
rather sudden, but I am a messenger, not of 
any earthly king, but a messenger of the 
King of kings, and I must deliver His 
message.' 

6 1 am afraid you may not be aware,' said 

10—2 



148 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

Mrs. Selbourne, ' that my husband and my- 
self are not members of your congrega- 
tion?' 

' Oh yes, I am — I am ; and that is the 
very reason that brings me here.' 

* We attend your church services/ she 
added. 

' Oh yes, I know — I know ; and that's 
my very motive for calling on you. You 
frequent, as you say, our sanctified house of 
prayer; you join yourself to our congregation; 
you inhabit this village, where our religious 
opinions are those of the majority ; and 
whatever may have been the practice of my 
worthy predecessor here in charge, mine will 
be to extend to you, as well as to the 
orthodox, the benefits of our holy convic- 
tions and the profit of my ministry.' 

' I hope I have not been without benefit 
from that of my dear, kind, pious friend, 
Mr. Edwards.' 

6 Possibly not ; though, I fear, I cannot 
say probably. Your mutual intercourse might, 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 149 

by the grace of Heaven, perhaps, have 
benefited yourself, madam, and Judge Sel- 
bourne ; but it could hardly be beneficial to 
my dear brother Edwards, in whom, indeed, 
a tendency to relaxing in the faith, per- 
adventure not amounting to positive back- 
sliding, might ' 

Mrs. Selbourne was about to speak. Mr. 
Killigrew raised his loud voice louder, and 
she remained silent : 

1 1 say, might have — I do not, as I ought 
perhaps to say, has — been the deplorable 
consequence.' 

' I think, I trust, no evil can have resulted 
to any of us from our happy intercourse with 
each other.' 

6 Perhaps not to your apprehension ; and 
no doubt it was a pleasure, of a sort, to 
brother Edwards ; it is natural that those 
who feel there is little likelihood of their 
meeting hereafter should cultivate agree- 
able acquaintanceship here.' 

Mrs. Selbourne was left to her own con- 



iSo FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

elusions as to the inevitable separation be- 
tween themselves and their friend of so 
many years of earthly intercourse when that 
should cease. Her visitor s next observa- 
tion was a sharp thrust in a very tender 
place. 

6 You have no children, I think V 

She crossed her arms tightly over her 
breast as she said : 

f No ; God has seen best to deny us that 
blessing.' 

' Best, best, undoubtedly I should say/ 
with a condescending approval of Divine 
providence. 

At this moment, to the poor lady's in- 
expressible relief, this hard-fisted searching 
of her private sorrow was interrupted by 
her husband's voice from the doorstep. Mr. 
Killigrew, without any ceremony, left the 
room to encounter him as he entered his 
house ; they met in the small passage, and 
Mr. Selbourne, courteously saluting the 
minister, was about to re-usher him into the 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 151 

parlour, which ceremony the other declined, 
saying : 

6 1 have already done my duty there, and 
am only concerned with a word to yourself, 
and it is this : Sir, have you religion V 

Mr. Selbourne, taken by surprise in the 
middle of his house passage by the grotesque 
abruptness of the question, did not, however, 
lose his presence of mind, but, with his 
sweet semi-satirical smile, replied : 

' None to talk of.' 

' Ah ! I thought so ; so much the worse , 
for out of the abundance of the heart the 
mouth speaketh. Now, I could no more 
hold my peace on this matter than I could fly.' 

' I dare say not.' 

' I understand, Judge, you are a literary 
character ?' 

' I think,' replied the Judge, still smiling, 
6 you must be mistaking me for my sister, who 
has written some rather popular books.' 

' Ah ! to be sure ; well, it's all one ; it runs 
in the family ' — one would have thought he 



152 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

spoke of some disease. * But I presume you 
read books, if you do not write any V 

' Yes, occasionally.' 

1 Well, I've left inside some literature 
which I think will gratify you ; there are 
some precious soul-awakening tracts, and, in 
the newspaper, a piece of my own on the 
approaching Presidential election.' 

At this moment Dr. Moore made his 
appearance, and stopped on the threshold 
with a most comical grimace at the sight of 
the couple in religious conference inside. 
He came in, and appeared to be going 
towards the sitting-room, but stopped, as 
the minister went on : 

' At this time, you know, men's minds 
are all taken up with election matters, so I 
have written a piece which I think will 
please you, exhorting each one to make his 
own calling and election sure.' 

6 Ah !' said the doctor, ' the reason why 
you folks believe in that doctrine of election 
is because you think you will all be electors.' 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 153 

He passed on, but not without hearing 
Mr. Killigrew, on whose face the cat-like 
expression was now beginning to make 
itself apparent, exclaim : 

6 Scorning and scoffing, and unseemly jest- 
ing !' Then turning to Mr. Selbourne : ' Evil 

communications ' but the doctor, whose 

ears were sharp, with his hand on the door 
of the parlour, exclaimed : 

* Is worth two in a bush ! and a bird in 
the hand corrupts good manners f with which 
ludicrous mixture of the two proverbs he 
disappeared, leaving Mr. Selbourne in a burst 
of laughter, and the minister in one of 
wrath ; in which, with the cat-like expression 
fully developed, he hastily left the house. 

The doctor's familiarity with the premises 
had enabled him to leave them without re- 
turning to the front entrance ; and Mr. Sel- 
bourne, when he went, still laughing, into 
his wife's sitting-room, found her in a state 
of perturbation most unusual to her sweet, 
serene, habitual composure. 



i 5 4 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

' Where's the doctor ?' 

' Oh, gone out by the garden-door ; he 
came to speak about poor sick Mrs. Rainger, 
and the soup he wishes me to send to her ; 
but, Charles, it is impossible, impossible !' 

' Few things are impossible, but is the 
soup one of them V 

' Oh no, no ; but to sit under that man for 
six months !' 

' It will be unpleasant to be sat upon by 
him so long, certainly.' 

' Oh, what a face !' 

' He didn't make himself, or he'd have 
been prettier.' 

' And what a voice !' 

' Nor that either ; and everyone hasn't 
been blessed with such a sweet one as yours.' 

Mrs. Selbourne had the charm, unusual 
among her countrywomen, of a melodious 
voice. 

6 We must take out old Dobbin and the 
waggon, and go up to Gordontown to 
church.' 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 155 



6 No, I think we must not, dear Lizzy.' 

1 Oh ! why ¥ 

' Because, if we did, we should hurt and 
distress dear old Mr. Edwards ; we should 
hurt and distress the Butlers and the 
Walkers, and several more of our good 
neighbours, and, what I think even more of, 
we should hurt and distress poor old Dobbin.' 

' I declare I'd rather go to the Catholic 
church in Breezetown.' 

i What ! and say your prayers in Latin V 

' Yes ! in Greek, or Hebrew, or all the 
unknown tongues ; besides, you could trans- 
late it for me ; and Father O'Grady is a kind 
Christian man, and I could listen to his 
preaching, even if I had to say my prayers 
in Latin.' 

' Do you remember who, when the sermon 
is bad, takes the text and preaches patience ?' 

' Yes ; but we can't expect such a favour 
as that for six months running.' 

' No ; heavenly sermons for six months 
would be too much to expect ; but, after all, 



156 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

six months, even of bad ones, can be borne. 
Very poor preaching is better than most men's 
practice, my dear, and in six months we shall 
have Willy Norris back, duly qualified, and 
with youth to give energy to the spirit of 
his grandfather, which I think he inherits in 
all its sweetness/ 

' Oh, I have no patience !' 

' No, my dear, and how poor are they 
who have not patience !' 

6 Oh, don't quote Shakespeare at me, 
Judge.' 

■ My lay Bible, the best of all profane 
books, if it may be so called without pro- 
fanity ; but come, wife, you have the resource 
of the jelly, you know.' 

Mrs. Selbourne put her hand before her 
husband's mouth, exclaiming : 

' I do declare, Judge, you are a real 
tease !' and, sitting down, she seized her 
knitting, and clicked the steel needles 
vehemently, with an expression half between 
crying and laughing. 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 157 

6 The resource of the jelly.' — One Satur- 
day in the past summer Mrs. Selbourne had 
exercised her culinary skill, which was of 
no common order, in the production of some 
very delicate jelly, for the entertainment of 
some friends who were to take tea with her. 
This jelly was an experiment with her ; she 
had never executed it before, and, with ex- 
treme anxiety as to its flavour, colour, and 
consistency, had at length succeeded in 
placing the tenderly trembling, translucent 
form of elegant refreshment before her 
guests. But the emotion caused by the 
effort survived its success, and manifested 
itself on the following day, Sunday, to her 
no small mortification and her husband's 
no small merriment. The day was hot and 
drowsy; Mrs. Selbourne was also hot and 
drowsy, and had sunk into the corner of her 
pew in an attitude of decorous slumber. The 
Reverend Mr. Edwards, drawing to the 
conclusion of a description of the short-lived 
prosperity of the wicked, its unsure founda- 



158 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

tion and insecure edifice, exclaimed : ' It 
shakes, it totters, it falls f 

Mrs. Selbourne heard the words through 
her nap, and started from sleep, exclaiming : 
' The jelly !' Her neighbours noted with a 
smile the good lady's sudden start from her 
religious repose ; her husband alone heard 
the exclamation, with which he had never 
since failed to twit her, with what she 
thought (as in the present instance) absolute 
cruelty. 








CHAPTER XIII. 



A religious revival now broke forth 
throughout the village and the neighbour- 
hood under the zealous activity of the new 
minister. Prayer-meetings and meetings 
for psalm-singing, and experience meetings 
and exhortation meetings took place almost 
every evening at one house or another, 
always presided over by Mr. Killigrew, who, 
accompanied by William Norris, into whom 
he infused some of his own energetic zeal, 
paid a round of constantly recurring domi- 
ciliary visits among his parishioners, which 
contrasted favourably, in the opinion of 
many of them, with the rarer calls of his 
predecessor. 



160 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

A searching inquisition into family matters ; 
a decided encouragement of sensational con- 
versions, of holy interest to those who ex- 
perienced and described them, and their 
hearers ; a general excitement, taking the 
place of a wholesomer element of recreation, 
too much wanting in the popular existence, 
produced a pleasurable sensation of unusual 
vitality, and raised the personal popularity 
of their preacher, whose vulgar familiarity 
in his treatment of sacred subjects in no 
way offended those to whom he addressed 
himself. 

All these results of the new dispensation 
were not very agreeable to Mr. Selbourne, 
who did not think them decided improve- 
ments, either to the religion or morality of 
his neighbours, and who, moreover, depre- 
cated, as a probable cause of deterioration in 
both, the opening of a camp-meeting in the 
close vicinity of the village, which drew, by 
the strong appeal of devotional excitement, 
constant visitors from the whole neighbour- 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 161 

ing district, whose coming and going gave 
the assemblage the air of a fair or rustic 
junketing — a picnic on a large scale, with 
the curious combination of open-air eating 
and drinking, praying, preaching, and psalm- 
singing, added to the more effective interest 
furnished by the occupants of the ' anxious 
benches,' the hysterical cries and ejaculations 
of their vehement devotions, and the equally 
vehement appeals and exhortations ad- 
dressed to them by the Reverend Caleb 
Killigrew and his assistants. 

William Norris was one of these, joining 
in Scripture-reading, and occasional exhorta- 
tion and praying, his yet not fully fledged 
clerical authority. Mrs. Morrison was not 
otherwise than pleased with the importance 
she derived from the minister's residence 
with her, and saw, with decided approba- 
tion, William Norris's fellowship with him 
in the good work of regeneration. Susan, 
whose now generally understood impending 
engagement with the young future minister 

11 



162 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

gave her a right to personal interest in all 
that concerned him, followed his labours 
with tender sympathy. Mary withdrew, as 
much as she could, from any share in the 
general excitement, and became by so doing 
a mark for general observation, a subject of 
painful solicitude to her mother, sister, and 
sister s lover, and an object of frequent ill- 
judged and most distasteful remonstrances 
on the part of Mr. Killigrew. 

Poor Mary, in whose faded cheeks and 
dark, undershadowed eyes Mrs. Selbourne's 
womanly instinct had detected more trouble 
than the sorrow of her father's death, felt 
herself gradually isolated from those with 
whom she lived, and went about among 
them with a heavy heart and dejected spirit. 
The growing closer intimacy between her 
sister and young Norris had placed Susan 
between Mary and him, and him between 
her and Susan. Was she jealous of one, 
or both ? Did the greater distance between 
the three hitherto undivided hearts strain 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 163 



upon the strings of hers with a constant 
weary, aching tension ? Was there occa- 
sionally a sharper pang of anguish, of which 
she herself was unable or unwilling to ac- 
knowledge the cause, but which Mrs. Sel- 
bourne's quick feminine insight had pene- 
trated ? And was a deep sentiment which 
she struggled against, without yet detecting 
its precise nature, rendering doubly detest- 
able to her the very evident admiration of 
their clerical inmate, and his incessant 
endeavours at familiar intercourse with, and 
religious influence over, her ? 

Poor Mary ! her excitable, irritable, 
highly-strung nervous temperament was ill- 
fitted to contend with so much difficulty ; 
and her faded beauty bore witness to the 
struggle of her daily life ; while a temper 
at once morbidly sensitive and wilfully 
capricious, suddenly resentful of quite unin- 
tentional offences on the part of her sister 
and Norris, haughtily and contemptuously 
repulsive towards Killigrew, and sullenly 

11 — 2 



1 64 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

depressed into gloomy silence by her 
mother's observations and interrogations, 
rendered their home intercourse painful and 
troublesome to all of them. 

Poor Mary ! the wise tenderness of the 
father who lay in the village burial-ground 
might have sustained her in this trial of her 
whole moral strength ; of that nearer and 
dearer Father, whose arms of everlasting 
love were under her, she had hitherto 
thought but little. 

William Norris's departure for Hills- 
borough was drawing near, and before leav- 
ing Greenville for some months, he proposed 
to Susan that they should spend one day in 
the beautiful woods of the East Mountain, 
for his farewell to the dear valley of the 
Green Water. Mary, of course, accompanied 
them, though much inclined to turn back at 
their very starting, when Mr. Killigrew pre- 
sented himself. 

6 Going up to the mountain, are you ? 
Well, I don't care if I go along.' 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 165 

None of the party were much pleased 
with this addition to their number, but not 
even Mary, whose countenance bore unmis- 
takable token of her displeasure, could find 
courage directly to oppose the proposal. 

They set forth ; the day was one of ex- 
treme, almost overpowering, heat ; the air 
simmered in trembling vapour along the 
fences, and the sun blazed upon the meadows, 
whose fragrant surface ofave forth under 
their footsteps the tepid perfume of its 
warm flowery grasses. Their path led our 
excursionists by the riverside, whose rapid 
current and sparkling ripples suggested re- 
freshment, as they slowly followed its clear 
course towards the woods, the shelter of 
which seemed to them like Paradise to souls 
newly escaped from purgatory. Their foot- 
steps on the moist mossy forest path, and 
under the exquisite shadows of its leafy 
covert, became slower and slower, as they 
climbed their upward way, sitting down re- 
peatedly for protracted rest upon masses of 



166 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

rock, covered with thick, starry, dark-green 
cushions of moss, where they remained in 
silent enjoyment of their temporary repose. 
William and Susan, though naturally en- 
grossed with each other and their own feel- 
ings, were not sufficiently so to throw Mary 
out of their conversation, into which she 
repeatedly made nervous inroads of appeal 
and observation, in endeavouring to escape 
the unwelcome tete-a-tete which the minister- 
vainly tried to force upon her, by probing 
inquiries into her spiritual experiences, from 
which she shrank, and equally unwelcome 
revelations of his own. The process of de- 
fending herself and repelling him was gradu- 
ally becoming a labour, ill-adapted to render 
the physical exertion of their walk lighter ; 
and it was with a sense of inexpressible 
relief that she reached the summit of the 
hill, the end of their climb, the place ap- 
pointed for their long rest and mid-day re- 
freshment, before returning in the afternoon 
to the village. 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 167 

William Norris waited naturally on 
Susan, and, in order to do so more effectu- 
ally, or from some more lover-like motive, 
knelt as he presented her with the con- 
tents of their frugal luncheon-basket. Mr. 
Killigrew followed the example in his service 
to Mary, in whom, however, this devotional 
attitude, instead of awakening the gentle 
acknowledgment of Susan's sweet smile, 
only excited displeasure, and who scowled 
with evident dislike of the implied homage, 
and felt an all but irresistible impulse to 
thrust her clumsily awkward and un- 
welcome attendant, with a push of her foot, 
backwards down the declivity at the top of 
which they were seated. The growing irri- 
tation which she found it all but impossible 
to restrain or conceal had a physical cause, 
to which her organization was always pecu- 
liarly sensitive. The heat, which affected 
her to an exceptional degree, had in it now 
a decided premonition of electric disturb- 
ance ; and a thunderstorm — which long 



168 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 



before it gave visible or audible signs of its 
approach was detected by her in a subtle 
atmospheric influence of painful oppression 
— was beginning to act, as it never failed to 
do, upon her susceptible nervous system. 

Meantime, the place where they rested 
gradually attracted their admiring observa- 
tion. They had seated themselves on the 
edge of an open space, under the shadow of 
beautiful trees that sheltered them from the 
heat, while the clear bit of meadow favoured 
the slight breezes of the mountain-top 
which stirred their woodland screen. A 
charcoal heap in the middle of the clearing 
accounted for the absence of its forest 
crown, while the abrupt declivity that led 
down from the denuded summit was thickly 
clothed with trees, over which they gazed 
delightedly on the lovely prospect that 
stretched far below and beyond the great 
mountain slopes, with their skirts of waving 
woodland. Susan and Norris repeatedly 
expressed their sense of the beauty of the 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 169 

scene, to which, familiar with it as they 
were, their hearts, in tune with its peaceful 
influence, responded. Killigrew attempted 
to improve the occasion oratorically, but 
they did not pay very undivided atten- 
tion to his eloquence ; and Mary suddenly 
broke in upon his laboured enumeration of 
the objects before their eyes with a jarring 
note of discord. 

6 I see one thing in all this neither lovely 
nor blessed ;' and her eyes had singled out 
and were resting upon the one solitary 
object that marred the general smiling 
beauty by which they were surrounded. 

One tall fir-tree, near where they sat, 
white like a skeleton, and with white, out- 
stretched skeleton arms, rose from the midst 
of the fresh verdure, the evident victim of 
some angry thunderbolt, that had broken 
and splintered the head higher than all its 
forest fellows, torn and stripped into falling, 
withered tatters its bark, the inside of 
which showed red streaks, not unlike blood- 



170 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

stains, and caused its limbs to stretch them- 
selves abroad in attitudes of helpless resist- 
ance to the fierce fiery doom by which they 
had been scathed, On this one image of 
desolation the desolate girl had fixed her 
eyes, and, merely saying, ' That looks 
neither very lovely nor very blessed/ rose 
and turned to go down the mountain. The 
others did so also, and they plunged again 
into the woodland path, the steep irregu- 
larities of which, and frequent interruptions 
by blocks of stone and fallen trunks of trees, 
rendered Norris's assistance to Susan 
natural and welcome ; while Mary, all but 
resentfully shrinking from the minister s in- 
cessantly proffered help, avoided with rapid 
agility the occasions of accepting it. She 
almost ran as she endeavoured to escape 
from his assiduities, which, indeed, were so 
awkwardly ineffectual that, while clutching 
her elbow by way of supporting her, he re- 
peatedly missed his own clumsy footing, and 
was on the point of making her stumble 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 171 

and of falling himself. Mary's nervous ex- 
asperation had become such that, on 
reaching the bottom of the mountain, she 
peremptorily desired that he would not 
approach her any more. 

Their path now lay along the course of a 
wild brook — in winter a furious torrent, but 
in summer only a rushing stream of rapid 
current, presenting a succession of deep 
dark pools, amber shallows with silver 
ripples, and curtains of thick glassy smooth- 
ness pouring themselves down over mimic 
precipices into rocky basins, ten and twelve 
feet lower, in boiling masses of furry, snow- 
white foam, that flung their crystal spray 
and rejoicing sound above their leap and 
swift onward course. In the very middle of 
one of these small Niagaras, a block of stone 
of some size stood securely poised, though 
rocked by the incessant impulse of the water, 
the churning white waves of which dashed 
in a perpetual furious onset against the rock 
fortress. The top of this stone had been 



172 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

hollowed by previous water-wear, and had 
received in the course of time a bed of 
earth of sufficient depth to afford soil for 
the growth of a magnificent sheaf of crimson 
cardinal-flowers, w^hose splendid deep-red 
colour, contrasting with its dark pedestal 
and the snowy water flashing all round it, 
presented an object of singular wild beauty. 
The pedestrians halted on the brink of the 
brook, in contemplation of it : Susan and 
Norris silently ; the minister, incapable of 
silence, appealing in louder tones than usual, 
to drown the musical voices of the stream, 
to Mary for her approbation, and receiving 
for only reply : 

6 It looks to me like a torch-fire — hell- 
fire — that you are so fond of preaching 
about,' with which answer she again turned 
from him and pursued her way, followed by 
the others, and utterly regardless of his 
remonstrances. 

They now entered the wood w r hich led to 
the river, and there stopped once more to 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 173 

admire another beautiful apparition of the 
red cardinal-flowers, of which a sort of 
natural garland had planted itself irregularly 
round a small pond of clear water, the middle 
of which reflected the tints of the evening 
sky, while all round its edge the close-grow- 
ing woodland threw a frame of soft shadow, 
in which the crimson blossoms shone like 
drops of coral set in ebony : 

' Oh f exclaimed Susan, ' they look like 
jewels ' — ' or drops of blood,' added Mary ; 
and passing on, preceded them to the plank 
bridge over the river, where she stopped, 
looking into the rapid stream. 

Norris stepped upon the elastic plank, 
which sprang so as to render some support 
in traversing it desirable ; and with one 
hand on. the rustic rail, which afforded it, led 
Susan, with the other, across the water. 
Mr. Killigrew offered the same assistance to 
Mary, who, disregarding it, crossed her arms 
over her breast, and walked with haughty 
independence to the middle of the bridge, 



i 7 4 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

where she again stopped to look down into 
the rapid river, over which she bent in an 
attitude of almost dangerous longing ; then, 
putting aside the minister's outstretched 
hand, she joined her sister, saying : 

6 Oh, wouldn't you like to go down into 
that water and float away, where it deepens 
to dark-green round the rocks, and so on to 
the thirty-feet foaming fall at Watertown, 
and be carried out to sea — far, far from 
everything and everybody !' 

' No, indeed,' answered Susan, with a 
shudder and a laugh ; ' I should not like to 
leave Greenville, and the Green Water, and 
our valley and village, and mother and you, 
and — all,' was her sudden substitute for the 
' Willy ' that was on her lips. 

' Oh, how glad I should be to leave them 
all !' muttered Mary, with her head bowed 
on her breast. Presently she stopped at 
the path that turned towards Mumbett's 
cottage, and said : ' I am going down here 
to see Mumbett.' 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 175 



* And I will go with you, Miss Mary/ 
said Killigrew. 

She turned and faced him. 

' No, you will not ; I have promised to 
visit her the first time I passed by, and I 
wish to do so alone.' 

6 I shall wait for you, then, till your visit 
is done.' 

' If you do, you will wait all night, for I 
will not come out while you remain there.' 

She then fairly ran down the cottage path, 
and abruptly entered it, shutting the door 
behind her. 

Susan drew herself closer to her lover, 
whose arm she had taken, and who now ad- 
dressed the minister with an expostulatory — 

1 Best leave a wilful woman to her own 
will, minister. A thunderstorm is just 
coming on, and I guess she will stop where 
she is till it is over, and then come home ; or, 
if not, I will come back for her.' 

Whether or not, Mary's last rebuff had 
almost persuaded the Reverend Caleb that 



176 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

she really did not desire his company, and 
actually slightly scratched the surface of his 
Ajax's sevenfold shield of self-complacency, 
he turned from the path, and followed the 
young people to the village with a very cat- 
like expression at Mary's repulse and 
Norris's advice. 

The threatening storm had now drawn all 
its heavy omens round the valley ; the middle 
sky had gradually become dark with a cloud, 
the colour, and almost the texture, of which 
resembled an opaque pall of the heaviest 
black velvet. On the horizon on one side, 
a row of dust-coloured and chalky-white 
vapours had gathered, through the latter of 
which an incessant play of veiled lightning 
gave a strange effect of huge masses of opal. 
The whole valley had assumed a livid leaden 
tinge, except in one spot, where a lurid re- 
flection repeated a long streak of dusky red, 
which, stretching below the darkest portion 
of the sky, looked as if the day was bleed- 
ing to death behind and beneath that dense 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 177 

blackness. Mary, exhausted with her walk, 
the heat, the oppression of the atmosphere, 
and the intolerable fellowship she had 
endured, threw herself on the low bed of 
the Indian woman, and tearing open her 
dress at the throat and breast, and pushing 
her hair wildly from her forehead, lay with 
her hands clasped above her head, gasping 
and speechless. Mumbett approached her : 

' Are you ill, Mary V 

' Oh, the thunder is all on the top of my 
head, and prevents me from breathing, but it 
is not that.' 

' What is it, then, if you are not ill ? Are 
you unhappy ?' 

' Yes, yes; miserable,' cried the girl, c with 
misery unbearable !' 

' Can I help you ? Is it hate or love V 

6 Loathing, idolatry — both.' 

' I can give you a love-charm ; look, here 
is honey and fresh rose-leaves, and a white 
butterfly.' 

' No, no — oh no !' wailed Mary. 

12 



178 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

1 1 can give you a charm for hate/ and 
she uncovered a dark jar, at the bottom of 
which a black snake was writhing, and on 
one side of which a hideous black spider, 
covered thick with black parasites, was 
crawling. Mary gave a faint shriek at the 
horrid materials for the witch's incantations. 

( Oh !' she said, ' you cannot help me; 
these cannot help me ; nobody, nothing can 
help me.' 

The Indian woman came and sat down by 
the bed on her cabin-floor, and by some 
intuitive suggestion of magnetism — not 
magic — stroked the girl's arm gently as it lay 
on the pallet, and in a low monotone, which 
was soothing like the repeated gesture, 
said : 

' Listen to me ; I have charms of your 
own Christian folk that may help you. 
When my people left the Green Valley, and 
went off to the Oneida tribe, I came back 
here for love of a Christian priest ; not one 
of those that have come since — a Catholic 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 179 

they called him, and he belonged to a mission, 
sent by his Church to make my people 
Catholic. He taught me something of his 
belief, and I grew to love him, so that I 
came back all the way from New York State 
and my tribe to seek him and see and hear 
him again ; but he was gone ; his chief priest 
had called for him back over the Great 
Water, and the company of his religious 
brethren went away, and have never re- 
turned. But he gave me two of their charms, 
and here is one that I have always worn.' 

She opened her dress, and showed Mary a 
Catholic medallion of the Virgin and Child, 
resting on her brown breast. ' This woman,' 
she said, ' is the mother of this Child, your 
God ; and this,' she said, producing a small 
iron crucifix, ' is the Child grown to a man, 
and tortured to death by wicked enemies. 
My teacher said this could cure all sin and 
comfort all sorrow, and I will give this to 
you. The Mary mother I will wear till I 
die, and it shall be buried with me.' 

12—2 



180 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

Mary sat suddenly up, and, seizing the 
crucifix, said : 

i Yes, yes, he told you true ; give it me f 
and, bowing her head over the image of 
Divine supreme sorrow, she melted into a 
flood of tears that burst from her relieved 
heart like saving waters from the rock, and 
bathed the blessed feet as those of the re- 
pentant sinner of the holy record did of 
yore. 

At this moment the leaden vault of the 
sky, that was pressing almost to suffocation 
on the atmosphere, was split asunder, and 
vomited a terrific glare of lightning that 
blazed over the whole valley, piercing through 
every crack and cranny of the Indian cottage, 
while a simultaneous burst of tremendous 
thunder appeared to shake the earth on 
which it stood. The two women, accus- 
tomed as they were to the violent storms of 
their electrical climate, started to their feet 
and stood in speechless awe at the appalling 
sight and sound. And now, with a shrill 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 181 



shriek, a furious blast of wind rushed down 
from the mountains, and tearing up and 
driving before it the dust and gravel of the 
road, seized upon the trees on each side of 
it, bowing and bending their tops with its 
invisible hands. The great children of the 
forest writhed under its grasp, and whirled 
and twisted their hurtling arms in a wild 
struggle with their terrible unseen adver- 
sary ; which, tearing from them broken 
branches, boughs, twigs, blossoms, clinging 
creepers, and their leafy crowns, fled howling, 
strewing with its spoils the earth beneath 
them. 

There was a moment of profound silence 
— silence as of sudden death, in which the 
tempest seemed gathering strength for its 
renewal ; and presently ' heaven's artillery, 
thundering in the skies/ resumed the ele- 
mental war. The whole air quivered with 
incessant blue light ; strings of white light- 
ning, two and three in close parallel, ran in 
rapid zigzags round the horizon ; while every 



182 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

few minutes a crooked bolt of fire leaped 
from the sky down into the forest depths, 
which rolled and tumbled like the surface of 
an angry sea. 

Every spike of an enclosing palisade near 
the cottage was tipped with lambent flame, 
and sudden sheets of pale-coloured lilac 
flickered over the ground, from the surface 
of which they appeared to be exhaled ; while 
the rebounding and resounding reverberations 
of the thunder sounded like the rolling and 
hurling to and fro of the rocky masses 
scattered over the mountain-sides, in some 
gigantic sport of the wood demons. This 
terrific uproar lasted but a short time, and 
then the floods of heaven encountered its 
fires, and were victorious in the strife. A 
heavy deluge — masses, as they seemed, of 
water — fell from the sky with a violence that, 
at a short distance, made them look like a 
solid black wall of slanting iron, before which 
the storm retreated, like some savage animal, 
with glances of angry but paler glare and 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 183 

muttered growlings, into the surrounding 
forest. 

Mumbett threw open her cottage door 
and window, while Mary, in a sort of dithy- 
rambic ecstasy, walked to and fro, her arms 
cast up above her head, her lips parted, and 
her nostrils wide, inhaling in great draughts 
the refreshment that the rain was pouring 
down upon the earth, and under which she 
was reviving, like the whole material creation. 
The storm was over ; the woods rocked 
gently, shaking off in heavy minute drops 
the tears of its final weeping with the sobs 
and sighs of its exhaustion, and the whole 
valley sent up the delicious fragrance of its 
celestial breath. The road but lately a run- 
ning stream of turbid yellow, began to show 
its hard level surface, as the water ebbed off 
to the ditches on either side, and the only 
sound was now that of the rushing river, 
which was receiving in its course a hundred 
rills, grown to impetuous torrents, from every 
hillside. 



184 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

6 I must go home/ said Mary, still hold- 
ing the iron crucifix. 

' Let me tie that round your neck/ said 
the Indian, and, taking a knife, she prepared 
to cut a strip from a dried snake-skin, similar 
to the one that encircled her own throat 
with the Catholic medallion. 

6 No, not with that dreadful thing f said 
Mary, and with the knife she cut from the 
lining of her dress a slender, but extremely 
strong, black silk cord, and passing it through 
the loop at the head of the crucifix, sat down 
on the bedside, to enable Mumbett to fasten 
it round her neck. This the old woman 
did, muttering charms of her own, with such 
a knot as no mere fingers of flesh would 
ever again untie, nor anything but sharp 
edge of knife or scissors detach from the 
young girl's throat. Mary took leave o* 
her old hostess, who watched her along the 
road till the twinkling earth- stars of the 
village houses answered the appearance of 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 



185 



the stars of heaven, which were mustering 
their shining bands, and setting their nightly 
watch in the clear spaces of the now serene 



sky. 





CHAPTER XIV. 

Mary had left open the collar of her dress, 
to receive, as she went home, the fresh air, 
which she breathed with a sense of inexpress- 
ible physical relief ; but the ' loathing ' and 
the ' loving ' both weighed heavily on her 
heart, as, while she walked, she uncon- 
sciously pressed her hand to the crucifix, 
saying in a low voice : ' For sin and for 
sorrow ; yes, help for both !' On her entrance 
to her home her mother met her, to inquire 
if she had escaped entirely from the storm ; 
but her words of maternal anxiety were 
arrested on her lips at the sight of the holy 
symbol, pointing to which she only said : 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 187 

1 What have you got there ? Where did 
you get that ¥ 

Mary, without replying to the combined 
aversion and censure expressed by the ex- 
clamation, hastily buttoned her dress at her 
throat, concealing the object of her mothers 
antipathy, and merely saying, i Mumbett 
gave it me ; my feet are very wet,' passed on 
to take off her shoes. Nothing more was 
said that evening upon the subject, but the 
next morning, from the peculiar pointed 
personal reference to herself in the minister's 
supplications, she could not but feel certain 
that some communication had passed between 
him and her mother about it, as well as to 
her antagonistic demeanour during their 
previous day's walk. Indignant at what 
seemed to her their combined condemnation, 
and angry at its expression, in a worship in 
which she was herself expected to join, she 
left the room as the others sat down to 
breakfast, and withdrew to the kitchen, 
where, with flashing eyes and cheeks, 



188 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

heightened in colour by the angry blood 
throbbing in them, she seized a piece of 
bread and glass of water, on which whole- 
somely unstimulating diet she made her 
solitary breakfast. Her resentment was 
very visible in her countenance as she left 
the room, and was the subject of deploring 
disapprobation on the part of her mother 
and the minister. Susan sought her sister 
in the room they occupied together, and 
though far from thinking ill of the prayer 
put up for (if one might not rather say, 
against) her, tried to soothe her displeasure 
by her tender demonstrations of affection. 

Mr. Killigrew's sentiments towards Mary 
had now become of a very complicated nature. 
He was powerfully attracted by the un- 
common personal beauty of the young woman; 
an attraction which he could not withstand, 
though he by no means admitted it to him- 
self, believing that he felt compelled by a 
strong sense of his religious duty to make 
every endeavour to rescue her from the 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 189 

demoniacal influence to which he now 
seriously thought she was given over. Pre- 
dominant, however, over his love (if such it 
could be called) for her person and his fear 
for her soul, was certainly the domineering 
element — the desire for power inherent in 
his own nature, and fostered to excess by 
his clerical pretensions. 

' What a Christian I could make of that 
girl !' he frequently exclaimed in talking of 
her to her mother, whose disposition, easily 
led by any stronger will than her own, 
adopted the minister's view of Mary's 
character, and was not without vague sus- 
picions of his double interest in her daughter, 
which flattered her religious prepossessions 
in favour of the cloth, and seemed to suggest 
the possibility of Mary's redeeming her own 
matrimonial derogation by an alliance more 
in accordance with the prejudices of her 
birth and education as a minister's daughter. 
Mary, on the other hand, entertained no 
such visions ; her original disagreeable im- 



i 9 o FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

pression of Mr. Killigrew had grown into 
absolute aversion under a consciousness, such 
as no woman escapes, of the feeling with 
which he regarded her, engrossed as her own 
thoughts were with a sentiment for another, 
calculated to protect her by its increasing 
strength from any other impression. The 
next morning, after her resentful retreat 
from the breakfast-table, the minister s 
prayers were, as might have been expected, 
not less calculated to irritate and offend her ; 
but to his surprise, and that of her mother 
and sister, she appeared at the end of their 
devotions with a perfectly placid countenance 
and composed demeanour, on which Mr. 
Killigrew^ expressed his unbounded approba- 
tion and satisfaction, attributing this favour- 
able result to the irresistible effect *of the 
supplications he had offered up for the soften- 
ing of heavenly grace upon her stubborn 
will and hardened heart. 

' I did not hear your prayers/ said she, 
with perfect composure. 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 191 

' You did not hear them V said he, quite 
unconscious of having prayed less loudly 
than usual, which indeed he had not, but, on 
the contrary, with a more fervent exertion 
of his ' powerful ' voice. 

1 No,' she replied ; ' I did not hear your 
prayers, because I stopped my ears.' 

Mr. Killigrew, Mrs. Morrison and Susan 
gave a simultaneous start of horror at this 
announcement, which Mary followed by 
saying in a perfectly quiet tone of voice, as 
she left the room : 

' I wished to say my own prayers in 
peace.' 

In the course of the evening, her mother, 
quite unable to refrain from again approach- 
ing the subject of her irritation and annoy- 
ance, very injudiciously renewed the discus- 
sion, by requesting Mary to take from her 
neck the offending crucifix, which the black 
cord round her throat showed that she still 
wore, though the image itself was hidden by 
her dress. 



192 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

6 Are you not afraid to wear that dreadful 
thing/ the minister here broke in, ' given 
you by an accursed heathen witch, who, in 
the better, earlier days of the colonies, would 
have been given over to flame and fagot V 

6 1 do not think she is quite a heathen/ 
said Mary ; i and I am sure she is not bad.' 

1 What is she, if not heathen ? Was she 
ever baptized V 

6 1 do not know/ 

' If she was baptized a Catholic, what is 
she but a miserable idolater, as she has 
proved by giving you that abominable idola- 
trous symbol of an abominable idolatrous 
creed V 

6 1 think she does right, as well as she 
knows how. I think she acts up to her 
lights, such as they are.' 

' Yes/ said her mother ; ' farthing rush- 
lights/ borrowing her contemptuous com- 
parison from her early English household 
economies. 

' Swamp-fires of Satan to draw her soul 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 193 

and yours into everlasting perdition. Will 
you not obey your mother's demand, and 
take the abomination from your neck V 

Mary put up her hand ; not, however, to 
remove, but to retain, the crucifix. 

' Then,' went on the minister, ' I command 
you to remove it, and my command you will 
surely not resist.' 

Mary still showed no sign of submission. 
He approached her, extending his hand with 
an evident intention of detaching the cord 
from her neck. 

' How dare you ! how dare you !' she 
gasped, suddenly starting up ; but trembling 
so violently that she was obliged to sit down 
again as suddenly by Susan, whose flower- 
soft hands now encircled her sister's throat 
with a vain endeavour to ( untie the knot 
with which the cord was fastened. 

1 " How dare you " to the minister !' 
faltered her horrified mother. 

' " How dare you " to me f shouted he ; 
' unfortunate, misguided, wretched girl ! 

13 



i 9 4 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

Lost, however, I am determined you shall 
not be, if effort of mine can save you.' 

Mary withstood, however, the pelting of 
the pitiless spiritual storm that was now 
poured out, like vials of wrath, upon her, 
and withdrew to her bed, where, with the 
sacred symbol of Divine compassion on her 
breast, and Susan's tender arms of sisterly 
love round her, she subsided at last into rest, 
under the soft wings of night and sleep. 

At the end of the following week Norris 
was to depart. Mr. Killigrew had spent 
much exhortation in preparing him, as he 
conceived, for doing so fitly ; among other 
means, by inducing him to take part in the 
services of the meeting-house, in joining (he 
would not have used the term c assisting' ) in 
the duties of the pulpit, so far as reading 
the Scriptures and praying alternately with 
himself. The struggle, which had broken 
out into almost open rebellion, in the Morrison 
household, now suggested to him an effort 
on the part of the young man, from which 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 195 

he hoped some effect might be produced on 
his future sister-in-law ; who evidently did 
not resist William's influence, as he was re- 
sentfully obliged to confess that she did his 
own. Overcome by Killigrew's 'powerful* 
arguments and exhortations, Norris at 
length consented to follow the advice, which 
took almost the authoritative tone of the 
absolute command of a superior, as to the 
fulfilment of an imperative duty ; submitted, 
conquered his reluctant unwillingness, and 
promised to take a part in the farewell 
services of the Sunday preceding his de- 
parture, in accordance with the minister's 
suggestion. The probability of his doing 
this, which was rather expected in the village, 
filled the church even more than usual, and 
more than usually early. Mr. and Mrs. 
Selbourne, who felt a friendly interest in 
their young future pastor, were in their 
accustomed place, and Mrs. Morrison and 
her daughters in theirs, listening with 
mingled feelings of devotion and personal 

13—2 



196 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

regard to the service. The discourse of Mr. 
Killigrew ended, all eyes rested on William 
Norris, as he rose to utter the final prayer. 
He did so with all the fervour that the oc- 
casion inspired, and with a voice trembling 
with emotion invoked blessings upon his 
congregation, his neighbours, his friends, his 
reverend grandfather, their former, and his 
respected successor their present, pastor, who 
stood by his side in the pulpit, with lips 
closely compressed, and eyes steadfastly fixed 
on the seat of the Morrisons. Presently, 
with a perceptible increase of tremor and a 
w T ailing tone of fervent supplication, William 
Norris pronounced the name of Mary, but 
his prayerful entreaty in behalf of that 
beloved and erring sister's soul was inter- 
rupted by a wild scream of laughter which 
broke from her, followed by violent hysterical 
sobs. Mr. Selbourne, inexpressibly shocked, 
drew her from her seat, and all but carried 
her out of the church, followed by Susan ; 
who, with eyes wide and cheeks blanched 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 197 

with dismay, received her sister from him, 
and led and supported her home, still utter- 
ing her alternate bursts of laughter and 
crying, which she found it impossible to 
control. Mr. Selbourne returned to his 
place to find the prayer finished, and the 
young minister so exhausted by the terrible 
effort it had cost him, that he had sunk 
upon his knees with his forehead bathed in 
perspiration ; while Mrs. Morrison, almost 
fascinated by the intense feeling with which 
she had followed his supplication for her 
child, stood rigidly immovable, her fingers 
all but indenting the wood of the pew which 
she grasped, while her eyes never left 
Norris's face ; and the i Amen f with which 
she responded to his prayer, though spoken 
in a low voice, was heard throughout the 
church, in the forcible distinctness of its 
utterance. A scene such as this was very 
uncommon, though the incident that gave 
rise to it was by no means so. Prayers 
and supplications for individual members of 



198 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

a congregation, not for the relief of their 
sorrows, trials, and afflictions, but for their 
sins, errors, religious shortcomings, or back- 
slidings, were quite frequent ; and neither 
particularly resented by the persons thus 
pointed out to their neighbours' implied 
condemnation, nor disapproved of by the 
latter. Mary's mode of receiving this devout 
distinction was the only circumstance which 
made it in any way remarkable to the rest 
of the community ; and the comments which 
this drew forth in the village circle rather 
indicated the necessity which was considered 
apparent for the discipline. ' Mary was 
strange, self-willed, headstrong, a thorn in 
the side of her mother, her sister, William 
Norris, and that good man, the minister, 
who had wrestled with her stubborn stiff- 
neckedness in vain.' In short, the public 
prayer for her conversion to grace was 
decidedly approved of by the public opinion 
of Greenville. Mary, who rightly attributed 
the pain and mortification she had endured 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 199 

from it to Killigrew's influence over Norris, 
repaid the former with an increased feeling 
of aversion. 

On the day preceding his departure, Norris 
came to take leave of the Morrisons, and 
finding Susan alone, adverted to Mary's out- 
break of feeling in church. Her sister 
excused her, with all her love for her, but, 
with all her love for William, expressed her 
approval of what he had done, and besought 
him, with tearful eyes, to seek Mary, and be 
reconciled to her before he went away. 
Mary was not at home at the beginning of 
his visit, but reached the threshold of the 
room while he was still with her sister, whose 
entreaty, ' Do find her ; do not go without 
seeing her once more !' ended by their hands 
and lips meeting, in the farewell of troth- 
plighted lovers. Mary thrust her handker- 
chief into her mouth to choke the cry that 
would have escaped from her, and, unseen 
by either of them, took refuge in her own 
room ; where, throwing herself on the bed, 



2oo FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

she buried her head in the pillow, to stifle the 
bitter weeping which shook her whole frame, 
and of which no sound was to be suffered to 
escape her. Suddenly a voice — her mother's 
voice — made itself heard, and she became 
aware that the door between her mothers 
room and that of Susan and herself was 
standing open, and from it was issuing a 
cry of such piteous distress as arrested at 
once her breathless attention and her passion- 
ate tears. 

' O my God, have mercy on my wretched 
child ! forgive her wickedness, pardon her 
sinfulness, change the desperate hardness of 
her heart, take from her the accursed spirit 
of pride, rebellion and disobedience, with 
which the devil has possessed her ; give her 
not over to Satan. Have mercy, Lord, have 
mercy ! spare my miserable child ! suffer 
her not to become a castaway, the daughter 
of the Evil One, condemned to everlasting 
perdition and the pains of hell for ever.' 

Mary heard no more ; the unfortunate 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 201 

girl fled from the house with her heart almost 
breaking with its burden of intolerable 
misery, the smart of unrequited love, the 
weight of a mother's reprobation. 





CHAPTER XV. 



William Norms walked slowly from the 
door. As he passed the window, he saw 
dimly within the room Susan's face, yet wet 
with tears, and he went on determined, if 
possible, to dry those tears, which smote upon 
his own heart, and restore peace to that sweet 
sisterly bosom, where every gentle affection 
of woman's nature seemed to dwell in its 
gentlest form. But where to seek Mary, 
and, when found, how to accost her ? Her 
manner had of late become so altered, so 
strange, so moody and capricious to all, so 
fall of asperity or coldness to him, that he 
knew not, even if he found her, how he 
should begin the mission which he had 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 203 

undertaken. He went on, however, full of 
the spirit which gives words when the hour 
for speaking comes, dwelling much upon 
the singular change which had come over 
the temper and disposition of the young 
girl ; more upon the gloom which had of 
late fallen upon the once happy home of the 
sisters ; but most of all upon the hope 
of restoring tranquillity and peace to that 
beloved one, whose faltering voice and tearful 
eyes had stirred within him the very springs 
of love, and revealed to him in its full 
extent the depth and power of the feeling 
for Susan which had grown with his growth, 
and strengthened with his strength, ever 
since his childhood. As he pondered thus, 
he slowly ascended the hill behind the cottage, 
upon which the evening sun was pouring its 
parting splendour. The golden light yet 
lingered over the valley, and crept up the 
hillsides till it met the shadows of the 
mountains and their deep woods. The har- 
monious outline of the distant hills mixed 



2o 4 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 
[ __ 

its solemn purple tint with the soft evening 
red : the great rocky mass known as Monu- 
ment Mountain stood out with its battle- 
ments of precipices relieved against the 
sunset sky, and far-off Taconoch rose on the 
horizon like a distinct but distant dream. 
How full of peace were the thoughts of the 
young pastor as his glance wandered over 
the beautiful scene ! how filled his eyes with 
tears of sweet emotion ! how overflowed his 
heart with gratitude to God and tenderness 
towards all things living * How full of the 
spirit of blessing and of hopeful prayer he 
became as his gaze descended from the sky 
to the humble roofs, half buried in thick 
foliage, beneath which dwelt those souls 
soon to be committed to his holiest care ! 
how quickly beat his heart and deeply 
heaved his breast as he ascended the gently- 
swelling slope of the hill under which lay 
the dwelling of his Susan s mother : 

' Mine ! would to Heaven that she were 
mine, indeed !' half uttered aloud the lover. 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 205 

' To live in this Paradise with her, daily to 
worship Thee better and love her more ! 
my God ! the thought is presumptuous 
in its excess of happiness. To wish for such 
an existence is to hope for heaven on earth.' 
He pressed his hand to his eyes, as if to 
shut out the wishes which he almost feared 
to entertain, and pursued his path up the 
sloping meadow which led to the skirts of 
the wood, and to the remarkable formation 
of the mountain of the Ice-hole and its deep 
gorge, where Norris and the two girls had 
been used to wander, exploring its rugged 
rock chambers, while they were yet happy 
children together. There in later years used 
the young divine to go, pondering deeply in 
solitude the important task of his future 
life. Thither in her unrest had Mary more 
than once strayed, climbing alone the steep 
and dangerous paths, lying down in the 
dark shelters formed by the overhanging 
masses of rock, her hands clasped round 
some cold stone, her tears falling upon the 



2o6 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

soft moss that pillowed her head. Here 
would she lie, brooding over the feeling that 
was gradually overmastering her, recalling 
every word, every look, every gesture of 
William's with a fatal accuracy that stamped 
yet deeper in her heart the image she strove 
to banish from it. Thrice happy when her 
contemplations were such alone ; when the 
fiend of jealousy forbore to visit her in her 
solitude ; when to the form of Norris, for 
ever present to her, was not joined that of 
Susan, innocently and confidingly leaning 
upon him, while his eyes would express for 
her a love to obtain one slightest token of 
which Mary would have given her life. 
Then would the lonely girl start from her 
rocky bed, calling upon Susan s name with 
incoherent prayers, entreaties, and wild re- 
proaches, until, exhausted, she would fall 
down again upon her moss pillow, and lie 
motionless and almost senseless there. 

Then would the gentle spirits of nature 
shower on her their holy ministry, pitying 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 207 

the passion of the self-tormented human 
soul ; then would the sweet evening wind 
breathe softly its cool kisses on her throb- 
bing brows, and sing over her its soothing 
lullaby ; then would the overarching trees 
wave their green branches gently above her, 
whispering compassionately to each other of 
her woe ; then would the serene evening-star 
come out in heaven, and look mildly down 
through the shaggy forest depths on the 
prostrate creature, who, calmed by these 
holy influences, would sink at length into 
slumber, which was, for awhile, forgetful- 
ness. Waking, she would feel the beneficent 
influence which sleep had had upon her, and 
with a heart numbed and a brow bent 
with their untimely weight of pain, come 
down from her savage hiding-place, and steal 
through the twilight to that home — no longer 
dear — to the bed she shared with that sister — 
no longer the beloved friend of her bosom — 
and await in troubled dreams the dawning of 
another day of struggle and sorrow. 



2o8 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

To • this wild retreat Norris now pro- 
ceeded in search of her. His own feelings 
had engrossed him so entirely for the last 
few moments that he had almost forgotten 
the difficulty of the task he had undertaken ; 
when, however, his mind reverted to it, the 
holy influences which had just been poured 
into his own heart seemed to him sufficient 
to enable him to appeal successfully to hers, 
and with kindliest compassion and affection 
for the sister of his youth, he went forward 
through the rocky glen, calling aloud on 
' Mary, dear Mary !' to answer him. To- 
wards the middle of the chaos of rocks and 
trees a large mass of stone, resting upon 
several rocky pinnacles, reared itself high and 
isolated in the midst of the tangled wilder- 
ness ; fantastic roots of huge trees, like 
monstrous bird-claws, clung into its sides, 
and a thick carpet of starry moss, feathery 
fern, and exquisitely delicate wild-flowers 
covered its surface. Though difficult and 
even dangerous of access, this was Mary's 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 209 

most frequent haunt ; the wildness of all 
around, the dark depths that yawned be- 
neath her on every side, the canopy of inter- 
woven boughs high overshadowing the glen 
below, through the green screen of which 
the sunlight played fitfully with the shadows 
as the wind stirred it ; the distant view of 
the smiling land and peaceful hills, seen 
through the rugged vista of the ravine, 
would have rendered this place the most 
desirable for one whose soul was alive to the 
beauties of nature ; but Mary sought it for 
its wildness, its difficult access, its certain 
loneliness. Here she was lying, with moss- 
roots and fern-leaves scattered around her, 
bearing witness to the feverish destructive 
activity of her emotions, her hair loosened 
and falling on her neck, her eyes red with 
recent tears, and her heart dead within her, 
when she heard William's call : 

1 Mary, dear Mary ; ' answer me. Where 
are you V 

That voice shot through every vein. She 

14 



2io FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

sprang up, and, trembling with a thousand 
indefinite feelings, stood for a moment wildly 
staring, her hands pressed to her heart to 
still its beating, her head bent eagerly for- 
ward to listen. Again the call, and now 
footsteps, crashing among the fallen boughs, 
were heard approaching. Mary turned to 
fly yet deeper among the rocks ; on one 
side alone could she descend from her steep 
place of refuge. She crept- hurriedly to- 
wards where the rock shelved down, and 
having reached the path — if such it could 
be called — which was only another block 
of isolated stone, was about to plunge down 
into one of the caves (or rather holes) 
beneath, when William's hand on her arm 
arrested her. She struggled, and endea- 
voured to free herself. 

1 Let me go — let me go !' she exclaimed 
in a husky, breathless tone ; but Norris, 
placing his arm round her waist, drew her 
gently but forcibly from the edge of the 
rock. 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 2n 

' Do not struggle so, Mary. I will not 
hold you any longer if you will promise 
only to listen to me one moment. Come 
away from that place. Sit down here. You 
are trembling so, you cannot stand. I will 
only lead you to a safer spot, and then I 
will let you go if you wish.' 

She muttered unintelligibly words which 
he could not distinguish, and with eager, 
shaking finders endeavoured to detach his 
hand from her waist. For a moment, as 
though to satisfy her, he unclasped his hold ; 
she tottered, and would have fallen, when, 
once more resuming his grasp of her, he 
led, or rather carried her, to a safer place, 
and, seating her on a rock, sat down beside 
her. 

' Listen to me, Mary. I am come to 
fetch you home. Do not, I beseech you, 
attempt to leave me. Hear me for your 
mother's sake ; for your own sake — for God's 
sake — hear me !' 

Mary, who had once more sprung up as 

14—2 



212 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

he began to speak, sank down again, appar- 
ently conquered by his entreaties, and cover- 
ing her face with her hands, sat silent. He 
went on : 

i What has happened, Mary ? What has 
befallen you to turn your spirit from good 
and your heart from happiness ? Come 
home ; the evening is falling ; your mother is 
in distress for you — she bade me seek you 
and bring you back ; she is almost worn out 
with anxiety. Alas ! you are making her 
old age very sad, and poor Susan ' 

A pang, as though of a sharp knife, ran 
through Mary's heart. She raised her 
head, and a bitter smile gleamed in her face, 
as she said : 

1 Did she send you for me V 

6 Yes ; she, and your mother, and my own 
heart, all sent me to seek you. Do not 
look in that strange, scornful way, dear 
Mary. What is it that has destroyed all 
our peace ? Tell me, my sister, am I no 
longer your friend ? Have you forgotten 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 213 

all our happy intercourse, the blessed love 
of our childhood, the sweet friendship of our 
youth ] What curse has fallen upon us 

all? What evil angel has come among 

US V 

She turned suddenly round ; she seized 
his hands, and grasped them tightly in her 
own. 

' You !' her eyes blazed upon him. ' You !' 
at length she gasped — ' you are the curse, 
you are the evil angel ; you have destroyed 
our happiness — you, who are drinking up 
my very heart's blood ! Must I yet speak ? 
— must I yet utter more ? Yes, I will ; for 
what is shame, or death, or everlasting fire, 
to this torture ? I love you, William ; not 
with a sister's love, not with a friend's — 
I love you as you love Susan, not me. 
O God ! not me, not me !' 

Her voice was choked with sobs, and for 
a moment no sound w^as heard in that 
strange solitude but the waitings that burst 
from her heart. 



2i 4 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

And how felt William ? Like one who, in 
the midst of a garden of roses, should see 
the earth gape to its centre before his feet. 
He sat motionless, almost breathless ; a 
deadly paleness and burning flush by turns 
overspread his countenance. At length, 
with infinite effort, he recalled his bewildered 
senses, and rose, and turned as though to 
depart. She seized his arm. 

1 You are going away — you are going to 
tell them — to tell my mother, and Susan, 
and all of them. You will shame me, you 
will trample on me before them all ; or, per- 
haps, 7 added she, her voice breaking into a 
fierce, frightful laugh, ' you will pray for 
me ; you, who have been the cause of this, 
will go up to your Sabbath seat to pray in 
your pulpit, aloud before all the people, for 
the writhing worm you have crushed under 
your feet !' 

' Mary/ at length interrupted William, 
his voice and whole frame shaken with ter- 
rible emotion, ' hush these wild, these wicked 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 215 

words. I will tell no one of you ; the merci- 
ful God — who hears and sees and pities us, 
and whom I do pray to help and comfort 
you — alone, for me, will ever know what 
you have uttered. Nor will I torment you 
longer even with my sight. I will go away 
where you shall never hear of me — away 
from home, from my mother, and ' 

Susan was on his lips, but fortunately 
the word died away in the bitterness of the 
thought, and he did not speak it. 

' You will go away,' said Mary, in a tone 
of utter despair : ' you can leave your mother, 
and your home, and Susan ' (she spoke the 
word with slow composure) — ' you can leave 
all, forego all, lose all for ever, but you 
cannot love me.' 

She threw herself on the earth, and lay 
with her head buried in her hands. Un- 
speakably shocked, William knew not what 
to do ; his tongue clove to the roof of his 
mouth, his voice died away as he attempted 
to speak. At length he endeavoured to 



216 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

raise her, but at his touch she shuddered as 
though it had been infectious. 

4 Do not touch me, do not lay your hand 
upon me. I will get up, I will go home, I 
will do anything if you will go away. Do 
not look at me ; do not let me see your eyes 
again.' 

6 Mary, I will not come near you ; but I 
lare not leave you here alone.' 

' I will get up, I will go home, indeed I 
will ; but go from me, for pity's sake, or my 
senses will forsake me.' 

6 Will you indeed leave this frightful 
place ?' 

She nodded impatiently, and vehemently 
waved him away. He turned from her, 
and with unsteady steps descended the 
ravine. An hour afterwards, as he yet 
stood by its entrance watching, full of hor- 
rible fears and anticipations of evil, he saw 
her white dress glimmering through the 
rocks. As she wound down between them 
she passed by him ; her dress almost blew 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 217 

in the night air against him, though she did 
not see him ; her face, as he indistinctly saw 
it for an instant, looked stony and sharp and 
white, like that of the dead. She ran swiftly 
by him, and he saw her follow through the 
dim fields her path homeward. He drew 
one heavy sigh, and slowly, and with falter- 
ing feet and a bewildered mind, stumbled to 
his own home. 





CHAPTEE XVI. 

The next day William Norris went to Hills- 
borough ; and the day after that Mary 
announced her determination to leave Green- 
ville, and go to Gordonton, to take employ- 
ment in one of the great cotton mills there. 
Gordonton and its vicinity were beginning 
to rival Lowell in the number and import- 
ance of its great factories, and the population 
of women (chiefly young girls) that it em- 
ployed. The men of the district, occupied 
in the cultivation of their farms, and their 
wives in the management of their families 
and households, had no desire to seek any 
such employment ; but the farmers' young 
daughters were very willing to earn con- 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 219 

siderable wages in an industry which was 
not as distasteful to them as domestic ser- 
vice, and which was then exclusively in the 
hands of American managers and the Ameri- 
can girls they employed — all of them respect- 
able in conduct, intelligent, and, to a certain 
degree, educated. It was in those days that 
the Lowell factory girls came out to a Fourth 
of July celebration, in a procession two miles 
long, with parasols to protect their com- 
plexions from the sun. Moreover, it was in 
those days that a newspaper and magazine, 
of far from contemptible literary pretension, 
were started and maintained by the money 
and mental contributions of the young factory 
women. 

Mary's proposal to adopt this employment 
had been made at an early date after her 
father's death, when the resources of her 
mother had been seriously diminished by 
that event ; but Mrs. Morrison, partly from 
pride and English recollections of Manches- 
ter mills and their population, and not un- 



22o FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

natural reluctance to let her daughter become 
a member of such a class, had opposed the 
measure so strongly that the idea had been 
relinquished. Now, however, that she under- 
stood better the respectable character of the 
Gordonton Mills, and the generally unex- 
ceptionable conduct of the young women 
employed at them, her objections no longer 
stood on the same ground ; but the favour- 
able alteration in their circumstances pro- 
duced by Susan's dressmaking, and the 
minister's residence with them, seemed to 
render such a step on Mary's part unneces- 
sary, and, therefore, undesirable. 

Mary, however, could now no longer 
endure her life at home ; her feeling for 
Norris, and Killigrew's for herself, had so 
troubled her days of late, and produced in 
her such a restless impatience of her Green- 
ville existence, that she had determined to 
exchange it for one absolutely different. 
Gordonton was but six miles distant from 
her home ; but it was the county town, a 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 221 

centre of city activity compared with the 
completely rural life of the sequestered 
village, every inch of ground surrounding 
which had become wearisomely familiar to 
her ; and her determination to place herself 
in new circumstances and surroundings was 
so positively expressed, that all opposition 
appeared fruitless. She was of age, able, 
both legally and morally, to choose her own 
course in this respect ; Norris had a cousin 
a few years older than herself, who had 
left Greenville and entered one of the Gor- 
donton factories, and there seemed no reason- 
able objection to her carrying out the plan 
she had formed for the relief of her own 
mind and spirits. Susan thought tbe change 
good for her sister ; and though feeling that 
she should miss her daily companionship, 
had lately found it difficult to meet Mary's 
ever-varying moods with sympathy ; and, 
besides, had interests and feelings of her 
own which filled her thoughts, and about 
which she was reticent. She thought 



222 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

Mary's life too restricted in interest for 
her, and that the stir of the busy animated 
county town would be beneficial as well as 
pleasant for her. Mrs. Morrison perceived 
a determination on the part of her youngest 
daughter which she at once felt she could 
not successfully oppose ; but she called in 
the assistance of Killigrew, by which she 
hoped to do so. Her expectation, however, 
was not fulfilled ; the minister indeed brought 
to bear upon Mary all his powers of dis- 
suasion (persuasion he had none), but they 
only served to increase her desire to escape 
from the authority he assumed, and the 
influence he desired to assume over her. 
His opposition to her plan was one of her 
strongest motives for adhering to it, and 
so her resolution prevailed, and he retreated 
from the contest with his personal and 
priestly pride mortified, his growing desire 
for her presence defeated, and a very dis- 
agreeable mixture of disappointment and 
bitter resentment at her resistance to his will. 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 223 

It was settled that Mary should become 
a fellow-boarder with Lucy Rainger, in the 
house of a connection in Gordonton ; and 
that with her she should visit her family 
at Greenville at least once a week, prob- 
ably on a Sunday, when the mills were 
closed, and when, if she chose, she could 
join her mother and Susan in their attend- 
ance at Mr. Killigrew's meeting-house. By 
these means Mary protected herself success- 
fully from the assiduities of the minister, 
whom she only met at their mid-day meal 
between services, having contrived to secure 
more acceptable escort than his back to 
Gordonton, on the very few occasions when 
she came to Greenville without Lucy Rain- 
ger. Killigrew's desire for her companion- 
ship and conversion were alike defeated by 
this arrangement, and his resentment was 
quite in proportion to his value for both, as 
he saw Mary thus escaping from his influ- 
ence, to a degree that inflamed his passion, 
and irritated his pride. William Norris's 



224 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

visits to Greenville were few and far between ; 
they seldom occurred so as to occasion any 
meeting between Mary and himself, and 
when such an encounter did take place, a 
simple handshake, followed by her almost 
immediate retreat from the room, and ab- 
sence while he remained, was all the com- 
munication that passed between them. His 
stay was necessarily short, and, after going 
to see his mother, he came to Susan, whose 
attention and interest were so exclusively 
absorbed by him, that her sister's altered 
deportment towards him hardly attracted 
her attention ; he, who better understood 
the cause of it, had every reason to desire 
that it should remain unknown to her. 

Late in the winter he was called down 
to Greenville to attend the burial of his 
aged grandfather, Mr. Edwards. The peace- 
ful life had ended with a peaceful death. 
Farewell blessings were on the gentle lips 
of him who had loved blessing more than 
cursing, and who was clothed with blessings 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 225 



as with a garment ; and the serene, sweet 
beauty of his countenance, in its sleep of 
death, was eloquent with the exhortation, to 
those who looked on it, so to live that even 
so they might die. This event brought 
Mary and Norris once more into communion 
with each other. 

Lucy Rainger, who had come down from 
Gordonton with Mary to the funeral, was 
obliged to remain in Greenville at her 
mother s for the night ; and Mary, not 
choosing to do so, would therefore have to 
return alone, or find some other companion 
back to Gordonton. Mr. Killigrew eagerly 
seized the opportunity to press his own 
services upon her, which Mary, however, 
peremptorily declined. The afternoon was 
drawing on ; her return was necessary. 
William Norris was about to take his de- 
parture for Hillsborough, without having 
dared to ask Mary to let him drive her as 
far as Gordonton on his way ; when, upon 
her mother s assent to the ministers ex- 

15 



226 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

pressed determination of getting out the 
sleigh and taking Mary up to Gordonton 
himself, she turned suddenly to William, 
saying ; 

' I will not go with him ; you shall take 
me back.' 

William, embarrassed, and yet rejoiced, 
by this renewal of their former friendly re- 
lations, expressed his readiness to do so ; 
and immediately taking leave of Susan and 
her mother, Mary quickly seated herself in 
the sleigh, and started from the door with 
Norris, who drove away, leaving Mr. Killi- 
grew exasperated with disappointment and 
mortification. 

It was almost evening, and evening 
towards the end of winter, when all its 
more disagreeable features and almost its 
greatest severity still prevailed. The cold 
was intense, the frost bitter, the mountains 
and valleys buried in snow, the road hard 
as iron beneath the frost-bound, slippery sur- 
face, the sky dull and dark with the threat 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 227 

of a fresh snowfall. The sleigh, in which 
Norris had driven down from Hillsborough, 
had been sufficiently provided with wraps 
and coverings to protect him from the cold ; 
but in the hurry in which Mary insisted 
upon departing, so as to avoid Mr. Killi- 
grew's escort, she had not clothed herself 
warmly enough, nor allowed time for suffi- 
cient additional coverings to be put into 
the sleigh. The distance to Gordonton, 
however, was but six miles, and the warm 
young blood in her own and William's veins 
seemed likely to resist the pinching atmo- 
sphere till their arrival there. But the road 
was, every inch of it, uphill ; the snow, 
which had gradually evaporated or been 
blown in places from its surface, no longer 
allowed the sleigh to glide with smooth 
swiftness over it ; and very soon after they 
left Greenville the snow began to fall, and 
the daylight all but disappeared before the 
approach of night and the thickening of 
the dense atmosphere. They went on till 

15—2 



228 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

it became difficult to determine which was 
their better course — to persevere in their 
attempt to reach Gordonton, or return by 
the more rapid road downhill to Green- 
ville. 

Mary resisted Norris's proposal to return 
at first, but before long became feebler in 
her opposition, and made no answer, when 
he said : 

' We had better not try the steep 
Walker's hill ; we had better go back to 
Greenville by the east road ; it is the 
shortest, and downhill all the way.' 

So saying, and without any reply on her 
part, he turned out of the main road into 
one where he thought their progress would 
be easier. In this, however, though at first 
successful, he had gone but half-way back 
when their difficulties increased formidably. 
The snow, less beaten, because less travelled 
than on the main road, was sufficiently deep 
and hard to bear the sleigh in places ; but 
at others the treacherous surface broke 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 229 

under the horse's hoofs, letting him and the 
sleigh into a depth of two or three feet, out 
of which the animal struggled with the 
utmost difficulty. 

The muffled tramp of the horse's feet, 
and even the jingling of the bells at its 
collar, became all but inaudible ; and the 
gradually accumulating surface, which was 
growing thicker and thicker as the addition 
of every minute fell upon it from the sky, 
which was now one whirling white curtain 
of blinding flakes, rendered it all but im- 
possible for Norris to see the road or guide 
the horse, to whose instinct he almost help- 
lessly resigned their progress. 

The dark course of a mountain stream, 
along which their road lay, and which, 
though frozen over, had afforded some 
guidance by its contrast with its white 
banks, was now hidden by the fallen cover- 
ing, under which the whole world was being 
muffled, stifled, smothered, and obliterated. 
Norris began to be seriously apprehensive 



230 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

about Mary, who had ceased to speak, and 
was leaning heavily against him, either from 
faintness or the approach of that dangerous 
somnolency which is apt to lull those who 
are overpowered by it before it delivers 
them over to the deeper sleep of death. In 
extreme anxiety he laid his companion in 
the hay at the bottom of the sleigh, cover- 
ing her over with everything it contained, 
and taking off his own cloak to add to her 
protection ; then, jumping out of the 
vehicle, he seized the horse's bridle, the 
animal having now all but ceased to draw 
it, and hoping by dragging him forward to 
continue their progress, while he kept him- 
self, by the exertion of so doing, from being 
overcome by the cold. The effort, how- 
ever, proved unavailing ; he was blinded, as 
was the horse, by the mist of snow, with 
the thick fur of which they were now 
covered from head to foot. They stumbled 
along in still deepening drifts of it, and 
William thought with despair of the pro- 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 231 

bability of their being compelled to pass the 
night exposed to the terrible inclemency of 
the weather. 

Suddenly a light, shining dimly through 
the dense falling atmosphere, indicated the 
neighbourhood of some human dwelling ; 
and Norris, calling aloud for help, left the 
sleigh, which the horse had drawn into a 
heavy drift, and waded towards the friendly 
beacon, which, to his inexpressible relief, he 
found was shining in Mumbett's cottage. 
His repeated calls and knocking brought 
the old woman to their rescue ; and the 
path to her door having been kept clear of 
all but the recently fallen snow, he, with 
her vigorous help, carried Mary, now pei- 
fectly insensible, into the cottage, where, 
utterly exhausted himself with exertion and 
anxiety, he fell upon the floor in front of 
the fire almost as powerless as the girl in 
his arms. The heat of the cottage itself — 
where, besides an iron stove, whose thin 
worn sides were in places red hot, a blazing 



232 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

fire of logs was burning in the chimney — at 
first affected him with dizziness, on his 
transition from the outer air, with its twenty 
degrees below zero. Mumbett, whose nightly 
potations were contained in a tin pot on the 
hearth, seized it, and, all but forcing it 
between his clenched teeth, administered 
the hot drink, a powerful draught of all but 
raw brandy. Revived by this stimulant, he 
now began with her to chafe Mary's hands 
and feet and temples, till a slight sensation 
of warmth made itself felt in the extremities, 
and Mumbett, saying, ' It will do, it will 
do ; she will recover,' took the girl from 
him, and lifting her in her arms, laid her, 
still absolutely unconscious, on her own 
bed. Norris, whom her potent dram, and 
the heat of the cabin, and the fatigue and 
exposure of their drive, had now completely 
overcome, had fallen prone on the floor in a 
sleep as perfectly unconscious as the insensi- 
bility of Mary. Mumbett, seeing that any 
attempt to rouse him would be ineffectual, 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 233 

raised him from the ground, and partly 
dragging, partly carrying, lifted him on the 
edge of the bed, and laid him, utterly help- 
less, by the side of Mary, throwing over 
them both the blankets and coverlet be- 
stowed upon her by the charity of Mrs. 
Selbourne. She proceeded to replenish the 
stove and make up a blazing fire on the 
hearth, having done which, she recruited her 
own energies with a draught of her elixir 
vitse, and left the cabin, locking the door 
and taking the key with her. 

Her next care was for the horse, still 
standing in the snowdrift, and unfastening 
him from the sleigh, which she abandoned 
in the road, and out of which she seized a 
huge armful of hay and the buffalo robe 
left in it, she led the unresisting animal 
into her cowshed. In this shanty, warmed 
by the cottage chimney, against which it 
was built, and the vital heat of the two 
animals now sheltered in it, she found suffi- 
cient protection from the external atmo- 



234 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

sphere ; and shaking down her bed of hay, 
and wrapping herself in the thick buffalo 
skin between the creatures, whose warmth 
communicated itself to her, she presently 
slept soundly ; and all was silent and motion- 
less without, save the still-falling snow, and 
every now and then the sound of its heavy 
masses softly sliding from the gradually 
overladen and downbending branches of the 
forest trees. 





CHAPTEK XVII. 



The next morning opened with one of those 
scenes of silver splendour that occur but 
once or twice in a winter, even in the 
Northern States, and are remembered and 
referred to as marking a specific date in its 
course. The snow had melted into rain, 
and then, as morning drew on, frozen again, 
and at sunrise every bough, branch, twig, 
or even blade of grass, and the great tree- 
trunks themselves, were cased in transparent 
ice ; the whole world was clad in crystal, 
and the sun's beams, broken into myriads 
of diamonds, shone through and over a 
sparkling iridescent universe ; the sky 
stretched a canopy of radiant sapphire over 



236 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

it, and every hollow in the snow piled upon 
the earth was lined with the azure of the 
glacier's deepest clefts. The forest clashed 
its branches like those of metallic trees, 
the snow tinkled as its frozen morsels were 
struck, and here and there the great weight 
of their glassy limbs broke down huge 
glittering masses from the trees, and strewed 
the earth with piles of crystal boughs, sur- 
rounded by a far-flung floor of crystal rain- 
bows shivered to fragments. The scene 
was indescribably beautiful, and even so 
thought Caleb Killigrew, though not in 
general very easily impressed by the natural 
beauties of the seasons. His anxiety, as 
well as less amiable emotions, had been 
aw 7 akened on the subject of Mary's evening 
drive with Norris to Gordonton ; and 
though both her mother and Susan had ex- 
pressed their conviction that, if overtaken 
by the snow, Mary would have sought and 
found shelter in some of the wayside habi- 
tations of the residents between Gordonton 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 237 

and Greenville (not contemplating the pos- 
sibility of her having turned back by the 
east road), the minister had directed his 
morning walk towards the Indian cottage, 
in a vague hope of hearing some tidings of 
Mary. He reached Mumbett's abode at 
the moment when, emerging, to his surprise, 
from the cowshed, she prepared to unlock 
her cabin door ; and, throwing it open, ex- 
posed to his amazed eyes the sleeping group 
on her pallet. 

The young man's arm was flung over his 
companion, but with this exception neither 
of them had stirred since the Indian had 
laid them side by side ; they were still sunk 
in perfect insensibility, either the uncon- 
sciousness of the profoundest slumber, or 
the still deeper trance of suspended anima- 
tion. Mr. Killigrew was not one of those 
who think no evil ; he strode to the bed 
and called Norris, roughly shaking him by 
the shoulder. The latter, thus suddenly 
roused, staggered to his feet, and stood un- 



238 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

steady and bewildered on the floor. Then, 
seeing Mumbett, and perceiving where he 
was, he exclaimed : 

' Where is Mary V 

' There/ pointed Mr. Killigrew, with a 
venomous sneer, which conveyed neither 
reproach nor any kind of consciousness to 
the young man's mind but that of joy for 
her safety. 

' Thank God, she is safe f he exclaimed. 
* And now I am beginning to remember how 
we came here : you took us in. 7 

' Well, then, if you are recovering your 
senses, 7 said Mr. Killigrew, ' you had better 
get into your sleigh, and let me drive 
you home, and I will come back for Mary 
Morrison directly. 7 

Norris, still in a state of confused semi- 
consciousness, which left him no determina- 
tion of will in the matter, got into the 
sleigh, which was made ready by his joint 
efforts and those of Mumbett, while the 
minister contemplated, in the deepest silent 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 239 

displeasure, the -till motionless and senseless 
Mary. 

As soon as the two men had driven away, 
Mumbett came to the bed and tried to 
rouse the girl from her torpor. This was 
not easily done; bu1 at Length animation 
and consciousness gradually returned, and 
Mary was able to rise and seat herself in 
the chair bythe hearth. Mumbett brought 
her a bow] of hot milk, which, with a slight 
addition of the brandy and some coarse 
brown bread broken into it, served to restore 
the giiTs strength sufficiently to enable her, 
with Mumbett's support, to get into the 
sleigh on its return, and be driven to her 
mothers house by the minister. There 
she remained, recovering very slowly and 
gradually, and not for several weeks en- 
tirely, from the effects of the terrible ex- 
posure she had undergone. Norris, whose 
exertions had served to preserve him from 
the worst effects of the cold during the 
snowstorm, recovered more quickly, and 



2 4 o- FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

at the expiration of a few days he returned 
to Hillsborough, apparently none the worse 
for the adventure. 

Caleb Killigrew was not of those who 
are slow to think evil ; but he was unable 
to think anything evil of Mary or Norris, 
even under the strange circumstances in 
which he had found them. Mumbett's 
description of their condition on their 
arrival was too powerfully confirmed by 
that in which they still were in the morn- 
ing to admit of any real doubt of its truth ; 
and there were even stronger considerations 
that made for the absolute veracity of her 
statement. 

The rural life of New England was one 
of pure and rigid morality, offences against 
which might be said to be absolutely un- 
known, and a departure from which would 
have brought down upon either man or 
woman guilty of it the reprobation of the 
whole community. Their strict religious 
principles and practice, their industrious 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 241 

habits, their entire abstinence from stimu- 
lants — either physical or intellectual — their 
rare recreations, the serious severity of their 
whole existence, and their intimate ac- 
quaintance with the details of each others 
daily life — in which everyone knew what 
evervone was doing, rendering all secrecv, 
not to say privacy, impossible among them — 
tended to preserve the stern morality of an 
almost ascetic society, and prolonged far 
into the present day the modes of thought 
and feeling of the Puritan founders of New 
England. 

The lives of the two young people sub- 
ject to this universal social scrutiny were 
known to be irreproachable, and as free from 
smirch of impurity as the transparent clear- 
ness of the morning's ice searched by the 
rays of the morning sun. 

This Killigrew never doubted for a 
moment, but he knew that they had passed 
the night alone together in the Indian's 
cottage, and he had seen them in what was 

16 



242 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

indeed all but a death-sleep, but lying side 
by side on her bed ; and the corrosive gnaw- 
ing of a burning jealousy had been awakened 
in him by that image, which he was never 
again able to banish from his mind. In the 
village, and in Mrs. Morrison's house, it was 
known that William and Mary had passed 
the night in Mumbett's cottage, but under 
what precise circumstances no one but the 
old woman herself and Killigrew knew ; and 
such a thing as refuge being sought and 
found in stress of weather was too frequent 
an incident of a Massachusetts winter to 
excite either curiosity or comment. A very 
slight exception to this general rule led, as 
trifling incidents so often do, to very serious 
consequences. 

A few days after the snowstorm, Mrs. 
Rainger, having a rough job of carpet-laying 
to carry through, sent for Mumbett, and 
employed her to help the work. The snow- 
storm and its various accidents and incidents 
not unnaturally was a thing of conversation, 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 243 

and Mumbett told how Mrs. Rainger's 
nephew, William, and his future wife had 
taken refuge with her. Mumbett had heard 
that Norris was engaged to one of the 
Morrison girls, but did not know which, 
nor, if she had known, would it have made 
the slightest difference in her mode of deal- 
ing with her storm-stricken visitors ; but it 
produced some little confusion in her narra- 
tive, and led to much more confusion in the 
abnormally confused head of Mrs. Rainger, 
who was trotting to and fro in her house, 
superintending the carpet-laying, and did 
not give at all undivided heed to Mumbett's 
story ; having, besides a tangled brain, a 
habit of never listening attentively to, or re- 
porting accurately, what she heard. Under 
these circumstances it was not strange that 
she had also tangled impressions. A few 
days after this, during one of the minister's 
domiciliary inquisitorial visits, which were 
extremely agreeable to the gossiping Mrs. 
Rainger, the snowstorm and its adventures 

16—2 



244 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

came ' upon the carpet/ not unnaturally, 
when she gave her version of the Indian 
woman's narrative : ' Wal. Might have been 
'spected as my nephew would have come on 
and got taken in here, but my ! they just 
broke down right against Mumbett's, and 
couldn't have got an inch further, for Mary, 
she was just done up, and that old Indian 
fool kept a-calling her Susan, acause she 
would have it Mary was engaged to William, 
which you know, minister, she warn't and 
ain't; and then that unregenerate Indian said 
they turned her out into the cowshed and 
shut themselves into the cottage, which, to 
be sure, you know, minister, they never 
could ha' done, but I guess the old heathen 
idiot had taken her evening draught in the 
morning, and didn't rightly know what she 
was a-talking about ;' and with this faithful 
reproduction, as she did not doubt that it 
was, of Mumbett's story, Mrs. Rainger dis- 
missed the topic from the conversation and 
from her thoughts. So, however, did not the 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 245 

minister, in whose mind it rankled, giving 
an additional edge to the poignant jealousy 
caused by the real circumstances. 

Hardly a month had elapsed after this 
conversation at Mrs. Rainger's, when Mum- 
bett, who was a very old woman, was found 
dead in her cabin. She was sitting upright 
in her usual dress, her usual chair, and her 
usual place by her hearth, on which stood 
her usual drink — her hot brew of herbs and 
brandy ; her black bead-like eyes wide open 
and turned to the door, and her whole 
appearance so perfectly that of her every- 
day life, that those who first saw her could 
not believe that the supreme change had 
left her so entirely and singularly unchanged. 
Mr. Selbourne, made aware of the event, 
took order for the solitary creature's burial, 
assigning for her grave a corner in his own 
enclosed piece of ground in the Greenville 
cemetery. 




CHAPTEE XVIII. 



A very pleasant, friendly, and animated 
political discussion was being carried on 
in the Selbournes' parlour by warm fire 
and bright lamplight — Dr. Moore being 
seated between the husband and wife, who 
each occupied their accustomed chimney- 
corner, a position he was very apt to take of 
an evening, to the considerable satisfaction 
of his friends and himself. The Presidential 
election now approaching was the subject in 
debate, and said Mrs. Selbourne : 

' Well, I never could vote for that man.' 
'Of course not,' said her husband, 
' because I can and do. If English women 
had the franchise, they would all vote for 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 247 

their men's men — the candidates chosen by 
their husbands, fathers, and brothers ; if our 
women could vote, they would do precisely 
the contrary, just to show their perfect 
independence of everything and everybody 
— human and Divine.' 

' Mrs. Selbourne,' said the doctor, ' to 
which category do the husbands belong V 

( Oh ! Divine !' said she. ' They are not 
humane enough to be called human.' 

' Superhuman in their long-suffering, I 
sometimes think,' said Mr. Selbourne, with 
an air of resigned martyrdom. 

' Miraculous !' cried his wife, with a burst 
of silvery laughter, which was interrupted on 
her lips by a sharp knock at the door, and 
the immediate entrance of Mr. Killigrew, 
who was received with courteous, but not 
cordial, civility, and took possession of a 
chair, saying : 

' I hope I don't interrupt. I hope I ain't 
any intruding inconvenience ; ' and then went 
on, internally convinced he could not intrude 



248 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

anywhere or inconvenience anybody : l Judge 
Selbourne, I have to speak to you upon a 
matter of moment, that I do not consider it 
right to postpone.' 

' Will you come to my office V said the 
Judge. 

' No, sir ; that's not necessary at all. I 
have nothing to keep secret, and nothing to 
say I am ashamed of.' 

Dr. Moore turned his chair round to face 
Parson Killigrew, as he would persist in 
calling him, because he knew the clergyman 
hated his doing so, and because he main- 
tained it was a reciprocal civility to address 
the parson by his professional title, who 
always addressed him by his title alone. 
Dr. Moore was not a friend to vivisection, 
but had, nevertheless, certain acute tempta- 
tions to practise it upon Mr. Killigrew, who 
was an object of extreme curiosity, as well 
as amusement, to him. 

' I understand, Judge Selbourne, you have 
an intention to give a grave in your burial 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 249 



lot to the heathen Indian, Mumbett, and I 
have just called in to say that the thing is 
impossible, quite impossible, from my point 
of view, or from any religious point of view, 
if you happen to entertain any such. That 
ground, sir, is consecrated ground, and I will 
not permit it to be desecrated, and the burial 
in it of an unbaptized, unregenerate heathen 
creature like that is not to be allowed — at 
any rate, by me. What sort of a service do 
you expect I could perform over such a 
grave as hers ? Not the prayers nor the 
discourse that a Christian minister ought to 
pronounce.' 

6 I confess,' said Mr. Selbourne, ' such a 
difficulty had not occurred to me.' 

6 Very likely not. Of course, I presume 
not to you.' 

6 I rather think, though, I am legally en- 
titled to bury what I please in that parcel 
of ground — dead dog, cat, or even Indian 
woman.' 

* I guess not, sir ; I guess not.' 



2 5 o FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

' At all events, Mr. Killigrew, I shall cer- 
tainly not put the matter to legal test.' 

6 I suspect, Judge/ said Dr. Moore, * the 
poor old woman, if she could speak her mind 
now, would ask for a hole in the hillside, by 
the bones of her tribe, rather than the finest 
grave you could give her by the side of your 
family monument.' 

6 No doubt she would ; and I, for one, 
cannot consent, nor would the whole congre- 
gation consent, that she should lie beside bap- 
tized Christian folk, of whom — sinners though 
we doubtless all are, and they are— it may 
presumably be said that they are at any 
rate not far from the kingdom of heaven.' 

' I am so far from it myself,' said Mr, 
Selbourne, ' that I have no right to say who 
is near to it.' 

' But,' said Dr. Moore, ' parson, it is the 
fashion of you, and your folk, to assign places 
considerably beforehand to your neighbours.' 

6 Yes,' said the Judge, ' and you go about 
distributing salvation and condemnation ' 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 251 

' Never, sir. I never used that mean, 
unscriptural word in my life.' 

' No,' said the doctor ; i you can't be 
accused of being mealy-mouthed ; you call a 
spade a spade, parson. But it seems to me 
you really only allow poor mankind one right, 
and that is to ' 

' Damnation. Precisely so, sir ; precisely 
so. What else have they a right to ? We, 
indeed, I should say all of us, the very best 
of us, what right have we to any other 
thing ? And as for this just-departed Indian 
heathen ' 

The doctor here interposed : 

" ' But whither went his soul, let those relate 
Who know the secrets of a future state. 
Divines can teach but what themselves believe, 
Strong proofs they have, but not demonstrative ; 
To live devoutly, then, is sure the best, 
To save one's self, and not to damn the rest : 
The soul of Arcite went where heathens go 
Who better do than we, though less they know." ' 

? I have no acquaintance with the person 
mentioned in that piece, sir.' 



252 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

6 I presume not/ said the doctor. ' Nor, 
I dare say, parson, none either with Burns' 
address to the devil V 

Mr. Killigrew's eyebrows put their backs 
up at this irreverent reference to one con- 
sidered by him the second (if indeed the 
second) power in the universe. 

' I never did, sir; I have had other things 
to attend to, thank God ! than any suchlike 
profanity/ 

The doctor quoted : 

' " Then fare ye weel, auld Nicky Ben ! 
Oh ! wad ye tak a thought and men' ! 
Ye aiblins might, I dinna ken, 

Yet hae a stake ! 
I'm wae to think on yon grim den, 
E'en for your sake !" 

Now, there appears to me a spirit of very 
fine charity in those lines, parson.' 

' Charity, sir ! to Satan, sir ; the common 
adversary, going perpetually about seeking 
whom he may devour f 

Mrs. Selbourne's tender blue eyes glared, 
as much as glare they could, at the minister, 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 253 

and though a very amiable woman, she 
wished in her heart that he might be sought, 
found, and devoured ; and, taking up her 
work-basket, she retired, casting a parting, 
pathetic glance of protection over her hus- 
band. 

6 You have given Mrs. Selbourne a fit, 
and I must comfort myself with a cigar for 
her departure,' said the doctor, suiting the 
action to the word, and presently speaking, 
like a classical divinity, out of an Olympian 
cloud. 

6 Never mind my wife's fit,' said the 
Judge. 

' I don't. I am truly sorry the good 
lady your wife, Madame Selbourne, is 
unappreciative of edifying Christian conver- 
sation.' 

6 But,' resumed the Judge, ' I am glad 
Milton was not of Mr. Killigrew's mind.' 

6 We should have lost some devilish noble 
lines if he had been,' quoth the doctor. ' Satan 
is the real hero of " Paradise Lost ;" with- 



254 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

out him, it would be " Hamlet " without the 
Prince.' 

6 Well, gentlemen/ said Killigrew, to 
whom these literary allusions were cer- 
tainly, in one sense, ' Paradise Lost, ■ I am 
not poetical.' 

' No more than Audry,' murmured the 
Judge. 

' And, I rejoice to say, have never known 
a rhyme out of the hymn-book of the 
Methodist Church selection.' 

' But Milton is not rhyme, but blank 
verse,' corrected the doctor. 

* Well, blank ; nor any kind of verse 
either, except the verses of the text of the 
Holy Bible ; but now, to stop this unprofit- 
able talk of profane poetry, I put it to you, 
gentlemen — unlike as your opinions, unfor- 
tunately, I must say, are to mine — if I 
can pronounce a minister's benediction on 
that woman's grave ? I did not see her to 
speak one saving vrord to her before her 
death.' 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 255 

' Her death, I should think, was sudden, 
and unexpected by herself/ said the doctor. 

6 Maybe so. Of course she was unpre- 
pared ; but last autumn, when she lay sick 
with the fever and wasn't expected to live, 
I went to visit her as in duty bound, and 
charitably tried to impress her with the 
horrible condition of her soul, Avith her 
danger of everlasting punishment, to awaken 
her to some saving sense of the terror of 
final judgment. I asked her if she was 
not afraid to meet her Maker. Well, would 
you believe it, she sat up and looked me 
straight in the face, and said : " No ! she 
was not afraid ; that if her Maker knew 
anything of her, He knew that she had 
always tried to do her duty as well as she 
knew how." And she lay down and turned 
her back to me, without a sign of saving 
fear.' 

' Rascally old squaw f exclaimed Moore. 

' And as for her soul, I shudder to think 
of it.' 



256 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

' " In thrilling regions of thick-ribbed 
ice/' ' muttered the Judge. ' The popular 
theory is for the other element. Poor old 
Mumbett, who thought doing right was 
being good ! I wish when I am near 
" that bourne from which no traveller re- 
turns 

' By-the-bye, Judge/ interrupted the 
doctor, out of his cloud, ' don't you think it 
rather a mistake of Shakespeare to make 
Hamlet say that just after the visitation 
of his father's ghost ?' 

' There are no mistakes in Shakespeare/ 
said the Judge. 

' Oh no ! nor bad jokes, nor foul lan- 
guage, either. Now for your fanaticism/ 
said the doctor, retreating within his smoke. 

* I wish heartily,' resumed the Judge, 
6 that when I am about to depart from this 
world, I could say as Mumbett did : "I 
have done my duty as well as I knew how ; 
I have been a good son, brother, husband, 
father, friend, and citizen." ' 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 257 

' Filthy rags ! Filthy rags of human 
righteousness !' broke in the minister, in his 
loudest voice. i Wretched vainglorying of 
mere sceptical morality ! Miserable de- 
pendence on fatal good works ! Broken 
reeds, to pierce the hands that lean on 
them ! Satan's seductions to the unre- 
generate soul, to turn it from the only 
means of grace and of salvation ! May 
you have far other and better grounds for 
hope and confidence, sir, to save you from 
the terrors of a disbeliever's death !' 

' Thank you,' said Judge Selbourne, rather 
drily ; ' I think I could be content with 
that, if I durst believe I had it.' 

6 Well,' resumed Mr. Killigrew, ' I have 
but one question to ask you, sir, and it is a 
solemn one ; may it tend to your edifica- 
tion ! I do not require an answer to it ; I 
address it, and refer your reply to your own 
conscience. You have spoken of your 
journey to another world, and I would ask, 
Are you packed ?' 

17 



258 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

6 Packed !' echoed the Judge. 

' Packed !' re-echoed the doctor. 

'Yes, sir; packed, prepared, packed for 
that momentous journey. I was in the 
Southern States not long ago, on the 
plantation of a gentleman who had recently 
died, and about whose death his slaves 
expressed much anxiety, because, said they, 
their master was not packed. Every 
summer, coming to the north, he was wont 
to make great preparation — much packing ; 
and now, although he had told them he 
was departing on a long journey, he was 
not packed. Judge Selbourne, are you 
packed V 

Mr. Selbourne, to whom the whole con- 
versation was extremely irksome and dis- 
tasteful, now rose with a view to breaking 
up the conference, and said : 

' You have required no answer, Mr. 
Killigrew, to your question, and I am glad 
you have not done so, for I should find it 
difficult to give you any ; but thanks for the 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 259 

kind interest in my eternal welfare which 
it indicates. But in order to avoid further 
discussion upon these subjects between us, 
I think it due to both of us to inform you 
that my belief only includes half of yours 
— the better half, I most devoutly hope — 
but I do not believe either in hell or the 
devil.' 

' You don't believe in the devil ? Then, 
sir, you don't believe in God ! They stand 
and fall together, sir ; they stand and fall 
together !' Saying which, Mr. Killigrew 
seized his hat and hurriedly left the house, 
without further ceremony of leave-taking. 

Judge Selbourne had preserved his serenity 
through the whole conversation with con- 
siderable difficulty ; not only on account of 
its own nature, but from a momentary dread 
that Dr. Moore — whose taste and temper 
were both imperfect, and whose tongue was 
ungovernable — would break out with some 
unseemly comment that would outrage the 
clergyman and greatly distress him, whose 

17 — 2 



2 6o FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

principle and practice were to avoid hurting 
anybody's feelings. That he was justified 
in this apprehension was sufficiently proved 
by Dr. Moore, immediately on Mr. Killi- 
grew's departure, breaking out with the old 
doggerel definition of Calvinism : 

6 " You shall, and you shan't, 
You can, and you can't 
You will, and you won't, 

You will be d if you do ; you will be 

d if you don't." ' 

' For goodness' sake hold your tongue, 
doctor ! You'll give my wife a real fit this 
time, if she hears you.' 

6 I am truly sorry the good lady your 
wife, Madame Selbourne, is unappreciative 
of edifying Christian conversation,' said the 
doctor, with a ludicrous imitation of the 
minister, and with peals of laughter. 

' I wonder you are not afraid of bringing 
Jonathan Edwards's ghost down upon you — 
here, within a stone's-throw of the very house 
where he lived and died, and wrote his 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 261 



celebrated treatise on " Metaphysical Theo- 

1 No, I am not afraid of ghosts ; besides, 
the good fellow knows better by this time.' 

The Judge leant back in his chair, and, 
putting his ten finger-tips meditatively 
together, said : 

' Can it be wondered at that people are 
not better than they are ? Is it not rather 
wonderful that they are not much worse 
than they are, with such teachers and such 
teaching V 

' You remind me of Boccaccio's Jew.' 

< Of whom V 

6 Boccaccio's Jew — the old Hebrew mer- 
chant who went from Florence to Rome, 
and there became a Christian ; because, he 
said, that religion must be the true one 
which subsisted under and survived the 
ignorance, error, absurdity, folly, vice, crime, 
and abominations of every sort with which 
the Roman Catholicism of that day was 
loaded in the capital of the Pope.' 



262 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

6 Ah !' said the Judge, ' depend upon 
this : a very few very good people are worse 
than their belief, because it is pure Christi- 
anity ; the great majority are better than 
theirs, because it is anything but pure 
Christianity. But my brother, who had 
lived in Spain and Italy, told me that this 
America of ours is the priest-ridden country 
above all others.' 

' I say, Selbourne,' said Dr. Moore, pull- 
ing a woollen comforter round his throat 
and preparing to depart, ' when you die, 
packed or unpacked, I mean to have your 
trunk. I intend to dissect your heart and 
brain, which strike me as being peculiar, 
and to publish the result of my observations 
for the benefit of the Medical College of 
Boston.' 

' That is if I die first,' said the Judge, 
accompanying him to the door ; c but if you 
should meet with that little accident before 
I do, I shall dissect your heart and brain, 
which appear to me peculiar, for the benefit 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 263 

of the general reading public, in an article in 
the Atlantic Monthly that shall make your 
ears tingle in your coffin.' 

1 I think not/ said the doctor. 

' " The right ear that is filled with dust 
Hears little of the false or just." 

Good-night, good-night !' 





CHAPTEE XIX. 

Judge Selbourne provided for the burial of 
Mumbett, helping himself to carry the coffin 
and fill the grave, where it was deposited 
in the old traditional burial-ground of her 
tribe. 

He had paid the Irishman, O'Flaherty, 
for his help — Simmons had given his and 
declined payment ; and when the few per- 
sons who had witnessed the interment had 
departed, Mr. Selbourne remained, with his 
head uncovered, by the grave for some 
minutes ; and one other figure lingered 
there — that of Mary Morrison, who, with 
her hand pressed to the old Indian's crucifix, 
recalled, not without emotion, her frequent 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 265 

friendly intercourse with her, and felt as if 
her life had lost an interest by her death. 

Certain natures have a morbid affinity 
for suffering ; they are allied to grief, they 
are akin to pain, and absorb sorrow as others 
repel, and retain as others reject it. They 
may be called tragical natures, to whom life 
itself is essentially tragical — not, indeed, 
always from its incidents, but often from 
their own character — elements of passionate 
restlessness, or brooding, moody melancholy, 
to whom their own misfortunes are subjects 
of more than reasonable gloom, and those of 
others of more than reasonable pity — natures 
prone to suffering, in themselves tragical. 
Mary Morrison's was such a one. Morri- 
son's death had severely wounded both his 
wife and Susan, but the wound had healed, 
and a scar hardly sensitive to the touch had 
remained. Mary had received a wound 
from it that had never healed or scarred 
over, and which bled afresh whenever it was 
touched. Mrs. Morrison had lost a hus- 



266 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

band and Susan a father, but Mary felt that 
she had lost a friend. An unspoken sympathy 
between herself and her father had begun to 
make itself felt by her, and she was gradually 
leaning towards and upon him with a silent 
inclination of her whole nature that was 
being accepted and responded to silently by 
him, and would have sustained her under 
the trials of life and the difficulties of her 
own temperament. 

His death, her first grief, was a sharp 
axe-stroke to the vitality of her spirit ; her 
feeling for Norris, against which she had 
struggled in vain, had been a less sharp and 
sudden, but more enduring and exhausting 
trial, affecting her in her self-esteem with a 
perpetual reproach of disloyalty to her 
sister and disgraceful weakness towards 
him. Her sudden revelation of her passion 
had humbled her to the very dust, and left 
her with a bitter sense of profound degrada- 
tion against which all her pride was power- 
less, and pride was the predominant element 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 267 

of her disposition. Under these depressing 
influences her spirit collapsed gradually : 
the firm elastic step, that Dr. Moore had 
once said looked as if her feet spurned the 
earth under them, had given place to a 
languid, listless saunter, in which thev 
hardly seemed lifted from the ground, and 
the haughty demeanour, carriage and ex- 
pression, that had been more than once 
resented by her companions, were exchanged 
for a look of habitual sadness that was more 
like the weary resignation of age than the 
protesting resistance of youth to sorrow. 
She haunted the burial-ground and lingered 
there, no longer lying, but sitting on the flat 
tombstone under which her father slept, 
hiding slowly and tenderly the letters of his 
name with wild-flowers and delicate ferns 
and grasses, and then remaining with wide 
tearless eyes, gazing into vacancy and 
wondering if he saw her, or knew how it 
was faring with her, any more. 

The gradual sinking of her spirit affected 



268 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

her manner in her own home, and though 
she was, in truth, not really more gentle, 
she appeared so from the indifferent absence 
of her former frequent antagonistic opposi- 
tion to those she lived with. Her mother 
rejoiced, and Susan wondered at the easier 
terms upon which they lived together ; and 
Mr. Killigrew triumphed at the victory of 
effectual grace — the conversion, as he called 
it — wrought by his holy influence over her. 
And now, in the diminished asperity of her 
demeanour, though he could not flatter him- 
self with any increase of cordiality in it, he 
thought he saw an opportunity to attempt 
an experiment which he had meditated ever 
since Mrs. Rainger had given him her ver- 
sion of Mumbett's account of the night of 
the snowstorm. The minister was very well 
aware of Mary's excessive pride, but he 
thought it less violent than it was, and yet 
sufficiently powerful to make an appeal to it 
both practicable and influential with her. A 
day of slight indisposition, which had kept 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 269 

her from the Gordonton factory, and in 
which she had taken in hand some of Susan's, 
needlework, while the latter had gone to 
receive directions about the same from Mrs. 
Selbourne, gave him the opportunity he 
desired. 

He came and seated himself by Mary, 
who, merely raising her eyes and removing 
her seat to a slight distance from him, 
pursued her occupation. 

6 Mary,' said he, ' I have something of 
much importance to say to you.' 

She dropped her work in her lap, and 
looked steadily up at him. 

' Do you remember the night of the snow- 
storm V 

' Perfectly well.' 

' And where you passed it ?' 

' In Mumbett's cottage.' 

' And how ?' 

6 On her bed.' 

' And with whom ?' 

6 With her.' 



270 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

' No, not with her ; she was not in the 
cottage during the whole night. With 
William Norris, alone, on Mumbett's bed.' 

Mary sprang up, with a gesture as if she 
would have struck the man. But he inter- 
cepted the blow, if it was intended, and 
caught her by the wrist. 

Mary felt at once the uselessness of resist- 
ance, and remained motionless, only saying : 

' If you will let go my hand, I will stop 
and hear what you have to say.' 

' You promise to listen V 

' I promise.' 

' Well, then, that night you passed as I 
tell you. Mumbett spent it in her cowshed, 
and you locked in with Norris in her cabin. 
I know this from herself, and saw her come 
out from the cowshed and unlock her cottage 
door, which she opened, and where you and 
Norris were lying asleep, side by side.' 

' It's a lie !' said Mary. 

' It is the truth,' said he, ' for I saw it 
with my own eyes.' 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 271 

' Mumbett never uttered a lie, and did 
not say that.' 

' Mumbett is not here to say anything. 
What I saw, I saw, though till now I have 
not thought it expedient to utter it, because 
the way in which you really passed that 
night has not hitherto been known to any- 
one but the old woman, who is gone, and me, 
to whom she related it.' 

' And who, you know, spoke the truth,' 
said Mary. 

i Yes, I believe she spoke the truth ; but 
a different notion is getting about among the 
folks here.' (Mr. Killigrew's imagination, 
though not fertile, was equal to this expan- 
sion of the facts.) ' It is now reported 
and believed that you and William Norris 
turned her out, and locked yourselves in the 
cottage.' 

Mary was trembling from head to foot 
with suppressed emotion, rage, shame, and 
indignation. 

' But you know this was not so.' 



272 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

' I do not know it, but I believe it was 
not so. The one person who did know it, 
and whose witness, after all, would be worth- 
less, heathen as she was, is gone.' 

There was silence. Mary could not utter 
a word. Killigrew stopped speaking, but 
after a moment went on : 

6 If such a story as that gets about, and is 
believed among our people here, your good 
name as a girl of character is lost for ever, 
and William Norris can never show his face 
in Greenville again. If this, as I believe, 
untrue account gets abroad, or even if the 
true account does, for nobody till now in the 
village has known but what Mumbett stayed 
all night in her house with you — if the truth 
itself becomes generally known, you and 
Norris are pretty likely to be disgraced, and 
your mother and Susan, who yet know no 
more than anybody else, to be all but killed 
by it. As for the other tale, which, as I 
say, I don't believe — but there will be many 
who will believe it — it will be the destruction 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 273 

of Norris and you. But,' he paused, ' there 
is one way to avoid all this, and I have 
come to propose it to you : to make you my 
wife.' 

Mary started violently. The blood rushed 
to her temples, and she caught at the table 
to steady herself. 

' No one will dare speak evil,' he went on, 
' of the minister's wife ; no one shall dare 
think evil of my wife. My marrying you in 
the face of all the facts, since I am supposed 
to know them, and do know them, will be 
proof sufficient that I think you without 
reproach, and if I do, then so must everyone. 
These considerations, and also because it is 
powerfully borne in upon me that you are 
receiving effectual grace, and that your entire 
conversion will follow upon its evident blessed 
beginning, and will result from your becom- 
ing my wife, have led me to make this 
proposal to you. Your mother knows of 
this intention of mine, but does not know 
the grounds for it, which I have explained 

18 



274 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

to you, but she thinks it would be spiritually 
advantageous to you, which undoubtedly it 
might be ; but of that I leave you the judge, 
and leave you to think over the offer I make 
you in a spirit of Christian love, and true 
compassion for your unfortunate present 
position.' 

He rose, and was about to leave the 
room. 

' Stop,' said Mary; and he stopped. * This 
can never be.' 

6 Why not ?' demanded he. 

' Because I would rather die first ; and 
because from the bottom of my heart I hate 
and despise you.' 

Mr. Killigrew departed, and an hour 
afterwards Susan, on her return home, found 
her sister fainted away on their bed. 





CHAPTER XX. 



The sort of stagnation of soul and spirit 
into which Mary had been gradually sink- 
ing for some time now gave way to the 
most feverish activity of thought and feel- 
ing. The concentrated rage with which 
she had received Killigrew's arrogant pro- 
posal kept her blood boiling whenever his 
odious terms recurred to her ; but the im- 
plied threat of disgrace and ruin to William 
Norris filled her with unspeakable dismay. 
She now knew for the first time herself 
the precise conditions under which she had 
passed the night at Mumbett's, and of 
which Norris was as unconscious and 
ignorant as she had been. She now saw 

18—2 



276 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

that the death of the old Indian, who alone 
knew the real circumstances, had removed 
the one absolute witness of them. She 
was told that a fatal false version of them 
was getting abroad, and that Killigrew, 
who did not believe it, would not, upon 
what he had positively seen, contradict it ; 
and she felt sure, on the contrary, that 
whatever weight of evidence he could 
afford would be thrown into the opposite 
scale. 

In a less, but still in some degree, the 
real facts affected her with an acute sense 
of very undeserved shame, from which she 
shrank internally, as from burning iron. It 
seemed to her that she was caught as in a 
net, where she turned and writhed in vain 
to find an exit. The most intolerable of all 
these combined considerations was the im- 
pending exposure and ruin of Norris. Her 
restless days and sleepless nights had now 
but one subject of contemplation : what to 
do ; how to avoid the threatened calamity ; 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 277 

of whom to take counsel. Her mother ? 
Impossible ! Her undoubted answer would 
be a reference to the minister's saving pro- 
posal of marriage. Susan ? How could 
she speak upon the subject of her lover's 
and sister's probable, or at any rate possible, 
disgrace to her ? Mary's thoughts turned 
round and round in a fatal circle. Oh ! if 
dear old Mr. Edwards were still there — if her 
father were still alive ! She roamed men- 
tally to and fro in a perpetual labyrinth of 
dismay, without any issue or clue ; and the 
time w r as going on, and Norris's permanent 
return was drawing near. How could this 
vile impediment to his fulfilling his pur- 
pose of becoming the minister at Green- 
ville, and her sister's husband, be averted ? 
His settlement in Greenville would dis- 
miss from it the detested Killigrew, but 
she had determined it should also be pre- 
ceded by her own much further departure 
and abiding distance from it. She would 
go to a factory in Lowell — she would go to 



278 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

service in Boston — she would do anything 
but remain at home after Susan s mar- 
riage. 

Yes ! But if that never was to take 
place ? if William never would or could 
return ? So, in a whirlpool of dismal 
speculation, her mind turned incessantly 
upon itself, and found no respite or relief. 

In this intolerable anxiety she climbed, 
one sultry afternoon, the East Mountain to 
the clear space at the top, round the char- 
coal heap, and looked towards the place 
where she had gazed at the blasted tree. 
As step by step she went slowly up the 
wood-path towards the breezy summit, chew- 
ing assuredly the cud of most bitter fancy, 
her weary spirit longed for some mossy 
resting-place in the deep wood, where she 
might lie down and forget and be forgotten. 
Having reached the top, she sat down to 
rest on a rock that pierced the turf, and 
gave herself up to her troubled meditations. 
What should she do ? What could be 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 279 

done ? Perhaps William himself could 
advise or devise some refuge from this 
threatening disaster ? Perhaps he might 
confront Killigrew, perhaps consult Judge 
Selbourne, perhaps invoke the esteem, re- 
spect and affection with which he was re- 
garded by the Principal and his fellow- 
students of the college ? But then (and 
here the poor girl writhed with reluctance) 
he must be told the nature of the accusa- 
tion brought against him, and she must 
communicate it to him. She would write 
to him — speak it, she never could — and how 
should she even put into written words the 
vile calumny of which he was to be made 
the victim ? And if he was as uncon- 
scious of all the events of the night of the 
snowstorm as herself, what could he state 
to deny it ? 

She leaned back against the rock, and 
remained plunged in this cruel cogitation. 
Meantime, the sun was westering, and the 
day beginning to wane, when a man s figure 



2 8o FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

gradually appeared, approaching by the 
opposite side the summ it of the hill, and 
coming slowly on the turf opening. It was 
William Norris. He stood still a moment 
in surprise at seeing Mary, and still more 
at the utter abandonment of dejection in 
her attitude. He walked slowly towards 
her, and the soft grass rendering his steps 
inaudible, he stood beside her without her 
having perceived him. Suddenly, on look- 
ing up, she did so, and started from her seat, 
exclaiming : 

6 Oh ! does thinking of people bring them 
up before one ? When did you come here ? 
Where are you come from V 

6 1 only came here a moment ago,' said 
he. ' I have come over the mountain from 
the Hillsborough side, and am going down 
to see my mother and stay the night at 
Greenville.' 

6 Oh ! I am thankful, thankful, glad you 
are come ; though I have something dread- 
ful to tell you — something too dreadful 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 281 



for both of us. Perhaps you can help. 
Perhaps you can save yourself and me. 
God ! perhaps ' 

'What is it, Mary? Tell me, tell me, 
what can I do V 

' Oh, that bad, that wicked man, that 
Killigrew, says — dares to say — to say ' 

6 What, what, in Heaven's name, my dear 
Mary ? speak ; tell me !' 

' I cannot, I cannot utter it,' she gasped, 
covering with both her hands the burning 
blush that overspread her face. i Yes, I 
will — I will ; it is a punishment for my 
pride. I have deserved it all — disgrace, 
shame, everything ; but poor, poor Susan 
and you, what have you done to be dragged 
into this mire of degradation with me ?' 

As she spoke she stretched her arms out 
towards him, and in so doing tottered and 
lost her balance on the uneven ground 
where they stood. William instantly 
stretched his hand to save her from falling, 
and caught her ; but he caught her under 



282 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

her scarf by the cord of the crucifix round 
her throat, and twisting his hand twice 
tightly in it, without knowing what he was 
doing, drew it with all his force to sustain 
the weight of her body. She uttered a 
throttled shriek, turned twice upon herself 
in spite of his utmost effort to save her by the 
cord which he still held, and which she twisted 
again in turning, and then fell heavily to 
the earth, striking her head violently against 
the rock. A terrible convulsion shook the 
wretched girl. She beat the ground with 
her feet, her outstretched hands, and her 
head, and then lay still — the full-bounding 
pulse, the warm throbbing heart, the quick 
imagining brain — still. All still, and for 
ever ! 

She had drawn William down on his 
knees beside her in her fall, and now, with 
trembling trepidation, he endeavoured to 
loosen his grasp from the fatal cord which 
had strangled her. The light had died 
from the space surrounded by the woods, 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 283 

and with both his hands he vainly tried to 
undo the knotted string. For a few seconds, 
and with terrible unavailing efforts, he 
attempted to do so ; but the Indian knot 
was not to be untied, and with difficulty he 
extricated his grasp from the deadly noose 
in which it was twisted. At first he 
thought she had fainted, and called loudly 
upon her ; then bending over her he called 
more softly, but close in her ear. He put 
his hand to her heart, there was no motion ; 
to her lips, there was no breath ; he lifted 
her head twice from the ground, and twice 
it fell to the ground again with a heavy 
thud. Dead — she was dead ! William re- 
mained motionless on his knees beside her 
without stirring, and without a single 
thought in his head, but that which his 
tongue muttered with an idiotic, senseless 
iteration, ' Dead — dead — dead !' Nothing 
else came to his mind or his tongue, and, 
but for that one idea and word, he was as 
senseless as she by whom he knelt. Of how 



284 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

long he remained so, he was absolutely un- 
conscious. Meantime the moon had slowly 
climbed the mountain, peering cautiously 
between the trees as she came up ; but now 
she had risen above the leafy screen, and 
looked over it, pouring a flood of refulgent 
light upon the open space, the charcoal 
heap, the woman lying, the man kneeling 
there. The white splendour revealed every 
object in the field, and shone full on the 
dead face ; that fair and noble face an hour 
ago, now hideous in the distortion of the 
death-struggle ; the purple cheeks, the pro- 
truding eyes, the distended nostrils, the 
gaping mouth. 

William uttered a loud cry of horror, and, 
from the depth of the forest, was answered 
by the eldritch shriek of laughter of a 
screech owl. He staggered to his feet ; he 
ran wildly round the edge of the wood, and 
came and fell again on his knees by Mary. 
He covered the terrible face, the ghastly 
eyes, with both his hands. He turned his 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 285 

head away from it, but saw them staring at 
him still ; he seized the scarf which clung 
round her, and laid it over the horrible mask 
of agony ; the night-wind blew it away, and 
he saw it again in all its hideousness. 
How, where to hide it for ever, even 
though he was still to see it for ever ? 
Suddenly the vacancy of his brain, possessed 
with but one idea, became thronged with 
crowding, surging images. She was dead — 
murdered ! he had murdered her ! She lay 
there alone ; he was there alone by her ; he 
had done it ! The daylight seemed to spring 
over the mountains (it was not yet midnight); 
voices and footsteps were heard all round 
him. Susan, her mother, his ow r n mother, 
all the dwellers in the village, rushed into 
the open field ; a hundred familiar forms and 
well-known faces pressed upon him, pointing 
to Mary's corpse, and yelling accusations at 
him. He ran to and fro, panting like a 
hunted animal, and looking wildly round for 
means of escape or self-defence. He saw 



286 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

the white moonlight glistening on a sharp- 
pointed stake lying in the grass ; he seized 
it, and, with the strength of frenzy, tore 
down the outer circle of the charcoal heap, 
then the inner one too, until he had made an 
aperture sufficiently large to admit the body, 
into which he thrust it, building up again 
with the speed of terror the fiery heap in 
which he had hidden his unfortunate victim ; 
and hurling far from him the stake with 
which he had worked, and which went 
crashing down into the recesses of the 
wood, he turned and fled, pursued by unut- 
terable horror. 

The full moon, now holding the height of 
heaven, gave light enough by which to dis- 
tinguish the wood-path for one as familiar 
with it as he was. Its clear shining, and 
the wild impulse which drove him on, made 
him avoid, as if by instinct, the impediments 
of the way ; he sprang round and leapt over 
stones and fallen tree-trunks as he would 
have done in broad daylight and in the full 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 287 

possession of his senses. Suddenly he became 
aware of a sound following him, which made 
him pause and listen ; it was a rapid flutter- 
ing ; could it be a bird ? It was not like 
the flying of a bird's wing. He resumed his 
course ; again the sound was at his heels, a 
flickering fluttering, like a garment waving 
in the wind. He stopped ; his hair rose on 
his head, and a sweat of terror broke out all 
over him. His teeth chattered, and his 
knees knocked together. What was it ? 
who was it that ran behind him, and stood 
beside him ? Again he fled forward, pur- 
sued still more loudly by the pursuing sound, 
and in an ecstasy of terror, having reached 
the middle of the plank bridge, he perceived 
poor Mary's scarf clinging to his arm, it 
having followed his flying feet through the 
wood. He tore it from him with an ex- 
clamation of horror, and flinging it away, 
the light fabric, caught by the wind, was 
carried on to the surface of the water, where, 
impelled by the current, it sought the sea, 



288 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

down the river upon which the unfortunate 
girl had wished herself borne to death but a 
short while before. 

Norris reeled to his home, and, entering 
the house by a low garden door never 
fastened, fell senseless upon a seat in an 
empty ground-floor room. 





CHAPTER XXI. 



William Norris lay at death's door in a 
brain-fever for some time, and it was long 
before the balance turned in favour of his 
recovery. But youth is wonderfully per- 
sistent in living, and he was gradually 
restored to life and apparent health. One 
important change remained, however, conse- 
quent either upon his illness or the events 
that had preceded it — the entire loss of his 
memory with regard to those events. His 
mind was like a book out of which leaves 
had been torn. He remembered nothing of 
the whole past year of his life ; it was 
obliterated from his consciousness as if it 
had never been, and no attempt made by 

19 



2 9 o FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

others to awaken the recollection of any- 
thing or anybody during that totally-eclipsed 
portion of his experience availed ; he was 
himself, of course, unconscious of it. 

His violent attack of illness was attributed 
to several causes, all of which combined, it 
was asserted, sufficiently accounted for it. 
He had overworked his brain, and passed 
sleepless nights in prolonged assiduous pre- 
parations for an examination, previous to 
his taking full orders for the ministry. 
Anxiety for the result had overstrained his 
nerves. He had gone up on foot from 
Hillsborough in a day of excessive heat, and 
come down in the night exposed to the 
miasma of the woods and vallev when he 
was probably exhausted. He had caught 
the fever, as it was generally called, by 
the riverside, and his recovery, even in 
its unusual and partial condition, was con- 
sidered a singular good fortune under all the 
circumstances. 

It was not till some days after Mary's 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 291 

death that her disappearance attracted 
notice. Her visits from Gordonton to 
Greenville were irregular, and seldom or 
ever expected beforehand, either at home or 
at the factory. Her absence, therefore, was 
attributed on either side to her remaining at 
one or the other place for a rather longer 
period than usual. Before long, however, 
notice was taken of, and inquiries made about 
it, and the precise time when she had been 
at home or at the factory ascertained. 
General curiosity was awakened, and general 
alarm excited. Search was made all through 
the valley, and up to Gordonton, and even 
to Hillsborough. She had spent a night 
with her mother and sister, and started to 
return to the factory the next day on foot. 
That she had taken the wood-path over the 
mountain nobody could tell. The inquiry 
and search after her remained, of course, 
without any result ; and conjecture w T as 
turned, after some days, in a direction which 
appeased, without entirely satisfying, public 

19 — 2 



292 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

curiosity as to her fate. The scarf worn by 
the poor young girl, and wafted by the w T ind 
upon the river when torn from his arm by 
Norris, was found caught in some bushes 
overhanging the deep thirty-feet fall of the 
stream at Watertown. There some eddy of 
the air or water had carried and left it, and 
there, wet with the spray, and trembling 
with the shock of the foaming cataract, the 
frail fabric hung suspended over the preci- 
pice, where no one doubted Mary herself 
had gone down, and, if not sooner, there met 
her doom. 

For a few days it remained a matter of 
painful speculation whether her death had 
been accidental or intentional on her own 
part. Killigrew and Susan alone knew 
and remembered the wish she had expressed 
to die in the current of the Green Water, and 
though the recollection brought a shudder 
with it, neither of them, knowing with how 
heavy a weight of misery her heart was 
then oppressed, believed that her words 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 293 



meant anything more than a momentary 
expression of an evanescent melancholy. It 
was accepted by everybody that in one of 
her wild wanderings Mary had met with 
some fetal accident, and been precipitated 
into the river. The minister remembered 
his last interview with her, but, in spite of 
the words with which she had closed it, was 
by no means convinced that her rejection 
of him was final. He knew nothing of the 
feeling for Norris which had made both his 
threats and his offers equally odious to her, 
and was still able to persuade himself that, 
by the grace of Heaven, and his own indivi- 
dual graces, he should yet have succeeded 
in overcoming her resistance to his suit. 

Mr. Killigrew was not a good man, but 
neither was he as bad a one as poor Mary 
judged him. The pious fraud, as he con- 
sidered it, which he had used to influence 
her, would probably not have been further 
resorted to by him, however much he might 
have been tempted to bear false witness 



294 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

against his neighbour, by telling merely what 
he had seen, and withholding all expression of 
his conviction as to the entire blamelessness 
of Norris and Mary. In Mrs. Rainger's 
fertile imagination, the snowstorm and the 
night following had already given place to a 
dozen subjects of exciting village gossip ; 
and there was all but a certainty that, if 
she reverted to Mumbett's story, she would 
now give not only a different, but a diametri- 
cally opposite one. But Mary's death, and 
Norris's all but mortal illness, had had their 
effect even upon Caleb Killigrew's mind and 
feelings. Ignorant of her love for William, 
he was able to regard the latter with com- 
passion, and though now anxious himself to 
leave Greenville, and, therefore, for the 
young man's entire recovery, he visited him 
with frequent assiduity, and ministered to 
the prolonged weakness of his protracted 
convalescence, with as much kindliness as 
he was capable of. He had fulfilled his 
mission in Greenville to his own entire satis- 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 295 

faction. He had not been a dumb dog ; he 
had spared neither admonition, exhortation, 
denunciation, threat nor warning ; he had 
wrestled, struggled, striven with the souls he 
had saved, to the best of his belief, by 
violent orthodox shaking up ; he had put as 
many of them as possible in a state of 
spiritual discomfort ; he had awakened them 
from the pernicious theological slumber in 
which he had found them, and had preached 
to them the doctrine of pure Calvinism in 
all its bitterness. After Mary's death and 
the cessation of his own personal interest in 
the place, he became desirous to leave Green- 
ville for a wider and more important sphere 
of action at Watertown, whether he had 
received a call upon the reputation of his 
6 powerful ' preaching. He remained, how- 
ever, till William Norris was pronounced 
not only out of any danger of relapse, but 
perfectly well, and able to assume the duties 
of his ministry. 

The evening" talk at Mr. Selbourne's not 



296 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

unnaturally canvassed all these events for 
some time after their occurrence ; and sit- 
ting as usual in their shape of a friendly bow, 
of which the trio formed the arc, and the 
hearth and chimney the cord, Mrs. Sel- 
bourne asked Dr. Moore if he had ever 
known any similar case to that of William 
Norris. 

6 Do you mean his partial loss of memory ? 
Yes ; I have known in the course of my 
practice two such cases — that is to say, of 
obliterated recollection ; but not occasioned 
like his, by nervous strain and brain-fever, 
but in one of them, a patient of my own, by 
a knock on the head.' 

' Did you give it her?' inquired the 
Judge. 

' No ; I never knock my patients on the 
head until it is better for them that I should 
do so. She was a woman of about thirty 
years old, and got her blow by falling from 
her horse on her wronof end. She never re- 
covered her memory, but, in spite of that, 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 297 



was an extremely clever woman, and talked 
delightfully, and wrote charming letters 
without it.' 

' Do you think the causes assigned for 
Norris's brain-fever account for it V 

' I think they may very well do so, for, 
as to brain-fever or even insanity, it's always 
difficult to assign precise causes ; they are 
so various. A young fellow that I knew 
went mad on seeing the woman he was in 
love with jump overboard out of the ship 
in which they were coming from India to 
England ; she was drowned, and he remained 
insane for some time. He recovered his 
senses, however, but became epileptic and 
died soon after. But it does not take such a 
tragedy as that to drive people out of their 
senses. Two young men of my acquaint- 
ance went into madhouses from dyspepsia — 
chronic indigestion ; the one recovered, the 
other did not.' 

' Do you think William Norris will re- 
cover his memory ?' 



298 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

6 Really, Mrs. Selbourne, the medicine-men 
of the Red Indians are conjurers, I believe, 
but I am not.' 

' Certainly not,' said the Judge, i my 
dear doctor ; nobody accused you of it ; but 
do you think there is any chance of Norris 
ever getting back the broken bit of his mind 
that has fallen out of it V 

' I think it just possible that the cause 
of the mischief having probably been 
nervous, some powerful nervous shock might 
jog his memory back into its grooves.' 

6 Why should he recover any more ? He 
does well enough without it ; and now that 
that odious Killigrew, with his loud voice 
and loud doctrine, is gone, perhaps the people 
will become reasonable again.' 

' It is hardly desirable,' said the Judge, 
6 that they should become what you, my 
dear unreasonable wife, call reasonable.' 

' They could hardly do it,' said the doctor ; 
■ for centuries and generations past they 
have held and transmitted their present 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 299 



notions, and been trained up in them, as 
these people have been. Very few indi- 
viduals are mentally and morally strong 
enough to change their opinions without 
injury.' 

' Do you think/ Mrs. Selbourne asked, 
' the majority of the Greenville people would 
be damaged by it V 

6 Oh no !' said the doctor ; ' the majority 
of them would probably become Catholics.' 

i That w r ould not be so bad,' said Mrs. 
Selbourne. 

1 Perhaps not,' said the Judge ; ' though 
it might not be a case of going back to 
jump the better, but only of jumping for- 
wards to go back the more. The truth is 
that most people, when they stray out of 
sight of the parish steeple, get so frightened 
that they run back as hard as they can to 
the narrowest and darkest corner of the 
church. People had better live and die 
in the creed they were born and brought 
up in — the poorest form of Christianity 



3oo FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

will be a saving faith to any man who lives 
by it.' 

' Norris's preaching and praying and read- 
ing/ said Mrs. Selbourne, ' are so like that 
good grandfather s of his, that, I declare, it's 
almost like having dear Mr. Edwards back 
again.' 

' Not almost — quite,' said the doctor. 

6 Not quite, after all. Mr. Edwards was 
an old man when he died, and Norris is but 
fi ve-and-twenty . ' 

' No ; but he is not a young man any 
longer — he is an old one for the rest of his 
life ; and, you have said very truly, he is 
mentally and morally, though not physically, 
what his grandfather was a few years before 
he died. The whole nervous system has 
received such a shock that it is enfeebled in 
tone ; it is not the memory alone. If your 
guitar has one string run down, you screw 
it up ; but here every cord of the instru- 
ment is relaxed from over-screwing, and the 
tension has been so severe that they will 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 301 

never be able to be wound up again to a 
healthy pitch, or return a vigorous sound/ 

I I suppose he will marry Susan Morrison 
now ?' 

' There is no reason why he should not, 
as soon as she is out of mourning for 
Mary. Poor Mary ! she was a fine crea- 
ture/ said the doctor, speaking from a pro- 
fessional as well as unprofessional point of 
view. 

' I always liked that sweet Susan best,' 
said Mrs. Selbourne. 

' Of course,' said the Judge ; l because 
birds of a feather, etc' 

'Mary had something masterful about her.' 

' Perhaps,' said the Judge ; ' she might 
not have made a comfortable wife !' 

I I think she might have made an un- 
comfortable husband/ said the doctor ; 
* though, after all, I believe henpecked 
husbands are the happiest.' 

' I could have told you so from personal 
experience.' 



3 o2 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

6 . Not of both kinds/ said Mrs. Selbourne, 
holding up a terribly threatening small fore- 
finger. 

' Well/ said the doctor, ' I was afraid to 
try.' 

' Not/ said Mrs. Selbourne, i because you 
were afraid of being henpecked, but because 
you never found the woman who could have 
henpecked you effectually.' 

6 Mrs. Selbourne,' said Dr. Moore, ' I 
have enjoyed as much of that privilege 
from your friendship as the Judge could 
well have spared, or as I could have hoped 
for, from a closer connection with the harder 
sex.' 

It pleased the doctor so to designate that 
half of the human species generally known 
as the ' softer.' 

' I should not call them the harder- — but 
only the unfair sex,' added the Judge, with 
meditative impartiality. 




CHAPTER XXII. 

Susan Morrison and William Norris married ; 
and a year after a child was born to them, 
a daughter, christened after the dead Mary. 
The child was like the woman as soon as 
her infant features could exhibit likeness to 
anyone, and when she was but two years old 
recalled in a wonderful manner the serious 
expression of an older face ; and as time 
went on, it was so peculiar that few persons 
who saw her failed to be struck with it ; 
for, in truth, the strongest resemblance 
stamped upon the child's countenance was 
to the Divine spiritual beauty of the Infant 
held in the arms of the great San Sisto 
Madonna, the miracle of Raphael's pencil. 



3 o 4 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

One change occasionally came over the 
little girl's remarkable countenance. Though 
almost always grave, she seldom cried, still 
seldom er did she laugh ; but when she 
smiled her whole face beamed with the 
sweetness of her mother's sweet smile, and 
became for a moment human in its tender 
mirthfulness. To her father she bore no 
likeness ; but in spite of this smiling re- 
semblance to her mother, her loving prefer- 
ence for him manifested itself in the strongest 
manner from her very babyhood. 

Even at her mother's breast, when Susan 
was living that blessed year of nursing her 
child (alone sufficient in its exquisite happi- 
ness to atone for the misery of the most 
miserable marriage, to atone for every earthly 
sorrow but the sorrow that is born of 
sin), the little creature would turn its eyes 
from the mother, gazing in ineffable tender- 
ness down upon it, to the voice, or even the 
footstep, of its father ; and the first articu- 
late word it uttered was ' Darlin',' learned 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 305 

from Susan, and stammered out to him. As 
soon as she could crawl she travelled on 
hands and knees, or sitting, sidled over the 
floor with all possible speed towards the 
door which admitted him. The first con- 
secutive speech she achieved was gathered 
from the lips of the mother, bending in 
loving watchfulness over her cot : ' Hush 
hush, my darling ! sleep ;' which, with tiny 
hands pressed on her father's eyelids, closed 
in ' make believe ' slumber, she addressed 
to her mother : ' Huss, huss, my darlin' is 
seep.' 

The child was called by both her parents 
Blossom ; the sad name of Mary was never 
addressed to her by them ; and in the 
village she was universally known as ' the 
Baby,' as if there never had been, was, or 
would be any other. As soon as she began 
to take her walks abroad, in her wicker 
carriage, or on her own very independent 
little trotting feet, she was watched by all 
the elders, waylaid and caught up by all the 

20 



306 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

young girls, followed by the children, who 
clustered round her like bees round a flower, 
escorted courteously beyond their own doors 
by the dogs, for a pat or a pull of her soft 
caressing hands, and purred and mewed 
round and rubbed against by all the cats 
who met her. She was worshipped like an 
idol, and served and obeyed like a queen — 
better than any queen, for it was all for love. 
Her chief idolater, servant and very slave 
was flame-haired Elsie O'Flaherty ; who 
now, a strapping ten-year old girl, having 
left off pig and poultry hunting, dedicated 
herself with absolute devotion to ' the Baby/ 
School-hours once over, her one delight and 
occupation was attendance on the little child, 
over whom she watched with the precocious, 
premature care of a perfect Irish nurse ; 
she walked beside her, Blossom holding her 
finger ; she carried her, Blossom clutching 
her fiery locks ; she drew her carriage 
wherever she chose to go ; she tarried by it 
whenever she wished to stay, and provided 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 307 

her with a perpetual store of wild-flowers, or 
brilliant coloured leaves — the only objects, 
beside her father, which the child ever ad- 
dressed as ' My darlin .' The fellowship of 
these two was perfect ; Elsie discoorsing un- 
weariedly in the choicest Irish, and Blossom 
jargoning replies which she understood, if 
the other did not. 

Four years went by of singular peaceful 
prosperity ; suffering, sorrow, and sin were 
certainly to be found in the bounds of Green- 
ville, but in the very smallest proportions 
possible, within such bounds. The young 
pastor and his wife lived a holy and a happy 
life. They were good ; the people they 
lived amongst were good ; an atmosphere of 
goodness seldom met with seemed to envelop 
the village and its inhabitants. The temper 
of the material world was unusually har- 
monious ; the seasons were kindly and genial ; 
the summer and winter not extreme in heat 
or cold, the spring and autumn delightful 
in soft balminess and fruitful plenty ; the 

20—2 



308 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

crops were abundant and fine, the days and 
nights serene and beautiful, for a succession 
of four years, long remembered as the * fine 
four years ' in the ' happy valley.' On the 
Fourth of July, at the end of that period, 
the annual celebration was to be held by the 
school-children, the national holiday feast and 
rejoicing, on the top of the East Mountain, 
where, escorted by the master and mistress, 
they were to have their picnic festival, re- 
turning at evening to the village. So their 
day was spent ; and towards its close they 
were seen and heard marching down in 
triumphal floral procession. Like to a 
moving garden, down they came — a mimic 
Birnam wood of branches, blossoms, wreaths, 
garlands, and whole sheaves of flowers. 
Rhododendrons, azaleas, kalmias in rosy 
bunches ; stars of snow-white dog- wood, 
silver censers of locust, lilac spires of catalpa, 
and the splendid varnished leaves and golden 
flowers of the tulip-tree — the whole spoil of 
the flowery fields and woods of the American 
summer. 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 309 

Down they came, a waft of fragrance ac- 
companying them, singing in shrill sweet 
unison a cheerful child-hymn, of which their 
two guardians led the melody. At their 
head marched flame-haired Elsie 0' Fla- 
herty ; she looked like an angel in an Italian 
cinque-cento picture, her red locks encircled 
with a wreath of chalk-white dogwood, hold- 
ing in her hand some small object, which 
she was vigorously divesting of rust and dirt 
— an iron crucifix. As the procession came 
along the village street, Blossom, sitting on 
the ground by her father, who was reading 
in the piazza of his house, ran to meet it ; 
her friend Elsie, leading the troop, stopped 
to kiss ' the Baby,' who, seeing what she 
held, took hold of it, crying ' Give.' Elsie 
had no refusal for the child, but rather un- 
willingly gave up her prize, and the flowery 
host marched on to the school-house to dis- 
band. William Norris had looked after his 
child, who now trotted back to him, and 
laid in the hand he held out to her the iron 
crucifix. 



3 io FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

He stared fixedly at it for a moment, and 
then, closing it in his hand, with a sudden 
cry fell senseless from his chair. 

Susan was at his side. Dr. Moore came 
instantly. Norris was carried insensible to 
bed, where he remained motionless and 
speechless, in spite of blood-letting and 
every effort Dr. Moore employed to restore 
consciousness. In this condition he remained 
all night. Towards morning Susan was sent 
to her child in an adjoining room by the 
doctor, expecting no change in the state of 
his patient ; but, in dismissing her to her 
child, he had called the latter Mary, and, 
turning from the door to the bed, saw 
William sitting up awake and wide-eyed, 
who said to him : 

' Mary was not drowned. I killed her on 
the East Mountain.' 

Dr. Moore was struck with extreme sur- 
prise, and thought his patient had awakened 
only to a paroxysm of delirium. He found, 
however, no symptom of fever or excite- 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 311 

ment ; the pulse was low, the forehead cool. 
He bade him lie still, and not exhaust him- 
self with speaking. 

' Judge Selbourne,' said Norris. 

' I will send for him,' replied the doctor ; 
and a hurried pencil line, ' Come over here 
as soon as you can,' presently brought Mr. 
Selbourne to the room. 

William Norris then desired to be raised 
and propped against his pillows, while Dr. 
Moore still held his pulse. He again said : 

i Mary was not drowned. I killed her/ 
He then, in few, but perfectly coherent 
words, related the incident as it had hap- 
pened, ending with : ' I strangled her acci- 
dentally with a cord she wore round her 
neck tied to a crucifix, and buried her in the 
charcoal heap.' 

6 This ?' said Dr. Moore, producing it 
from his pocket, where he had placed it after 
extracting it from William's hand, which 
was tightly closed over it when he fell 
senseless. 



312 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

' That/ said he, looking with dying eyes 
at it. ' 0, Christ, why didst Thou not 
save her V He fell back. 

' It is over/ said Dr. Moore. 

' Is he dead V asked Mr. Selbourne. 

The doctor nodded. Mr. Selbourne closed 
the eyelids, and Dr. Moore left the room. 

After some minutes he returned, sup- 
porting Susan and carrying her child. The 
wife uttered a cry of piercing anguish, and 
fell on her knees beside the bed. Dr. 
Moore laid the baby on the pillow, where, 
creeping close to her father, she laid her 
living, flower-bright face against his marble- 
cold and white dead cheek, and, with her 
rosy hand pressed on his eyes, said softly : 
4 Huss, huss ! my darlin is seep.' The two 
men placed Susan in her mothers arms, 
and, promising to return, left the house. 

As they crossed the street they were 
accosted by Elsie O'Flaherty, who said to 
the Judge : 

* Sir, I gave " the Baby " yesterday an 



FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 313 

image I found in the ashes of the old East 
Mountain charcoal pit — a black cross with a 
man hanging to it.' 

' This V said the doctor, who had retained 
it. 

1 Yes, sir. Mother says it is the cross of 
the holy Jesus, and that I shouldn't have 
given it away.' 

The doctor was about to surrender it. 

' Stop,' said Mr. Selbourne, ' I wish to 
keep it ; give it to me. Tell your mother, 
Elsie, that I shall take great care of it, and 
will get her another like it the first time I 
go to Boston.' 

The friends walked on in silence. 

1 Do you believe what Norris said V 
presently asked the Judge. 

' Every word of it,' replied the doctor. 

' Was he not insane, delirious ?' 

' No more than you or I at this instant.' 

' Then he had recovered his memory ?' 

' For the moment he had.' 

6 What did he die of?' 



3 i4 FAR AWAY AND LONG AGO 

1 The nervous shock, and I should think 
heart disease, which made it fatal.' 

1 So, then, you think the poor fellow's 
story true ?' 

1 How did that crucifix come in the ashes 
of the East Mountain charcoal heap ?' 
answered Dr. Moore. 

So the story of poor Mary's death was 
known, though never told by those who 
knew it ; that of her life remained a secret. 

Mrs. Morrison returned with Susan and 
her child to Manchester. After her mother's 
death, Susan married a wealthy Lancashire 
millowner, and in the decent comfort and 
respectable monotony of English middle- 
class life only remembered the events of her 
existence in Greenville as the half-effaced 
images of a half-forgotten dream of ' Far 
Away and Long Ago.' 

THE END. 



BILLING & SONS, PRINTERS, GUILDFORD. 

G.sC.& Co. 



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